Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Monthly Archives: September 2013

9-11 or 7-11. I’ll ‘splain the difference to ya.

I’ve decided to take a break from my typically profound, timely, newsworthy, displays of dime-store erudition and speak to those who must tattoo the national speed limit on one hand and their IQ on the other-so they don’t mix them up.

Yes, friends, I saw the tweets that followed the announcement of the new Miss America (an imbecilic, meaningless contest that pays hot women to walk around in bikinis literally glued to their asses while trying to say smart things about Darfur and Miley Cyrus). Her name is Nina Davuluri and she’s ‘merkin as Ted Cruz. (err, well, you know what I mean). Her family happens to be from India. But she was born in the USA.

The tweets in question suggested that she is a terrorist, a Muslim, an Arab, a foreigner, a practitioner of Sharia Law (they actually spelled practitioner wrong) as well as calling her Miss Al Qaeda.

So, I decided that it’s time to speak to some of these politically, geographically and genetically challenged individuals in their own language. To those of you with sensibilities not sympathetic to the roadhouse owner in the movie Porky’s, I ask your indulgence, and that you hide the children.

Here friends, is how you can tell if a person is one of those that all good Americans are supposed to hate. Ready…go!

The ones who Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Michelle Bachman, Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh have approved us to shoot on site with our new AR-15s (or failing that, give the finger to whenever convenient) are middle-eastern Arab Muslims, where the men are typically bearded and stereotypically angry. They believe in a religion that acknowledges Jesus as a Prophet but not as the Savior, descends from Abraham and, overall, has as much violence in its holy book as the Bible. Certain of them ostensibly learned to fly airplanes and committed a horrific act about 12 years ago. They sometimes speak very rapidly and forcefully. These are who you associate with 9-11.

Then, living 2000 miles away (in Asia) is a group of people from India who are Hindu, where the men are commonly mustachioed and usually quite friendly. They believe in a religion that has virtually no connection to Islam or Christianity, and is quite non-violent. They sometimes speak in an uplifting sing-song manner and are usually very polite. They are also vegetarians, believing that cows are sacred. They have never tried to hurt us. These are who you associate with 7-11. (I said you, not me).

The chick who got Miss America this time was the second one, having no similarities to the first.

So remember. 9-11, bad guys. 7-11, good guys.

If you’re going to be a racist, bigoted, knuckle dragging, mouth breathing, bleeding hemorrhoidal resident of the dark recesses of humanity’s buttocks, do us all a favor and at least try to be good at it, ay?

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The inside secrets of the train wreck called Obamacare

I’m starting to see what all the hoopla is with Obamacare. You see, starting on October 1, you will be able to go HERE, put in some simple information and find out if the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange can save you some money on health insurance. Yup, that’s it. That’s the train wreck. That’s what Ted Cruz has been talking about repealing for months now.

You go to https://www.healthcare.gov/ , look around the site, fill in some really basic information and see if you can save some money on health insuance. If your current coverage is better or cheaper than you find on the site, you close the browser and never have to look at it again. That’s how Obamacare will affect people who already have health insurance.

If you don’t have insurance, the site will explain how you can buy it cheaply and, if you have trouble affording it, how you can get assistance to buy it. Many people will actually get it for free.

Yup folks, that’s what we call a train wreck here in the good ol’ USA, at least according to Repubs.

John Boehner, Please Return Your Paycheck

On July 21st, 2013, House Speaker John Boehner is quoted in the Washington Post as having said that Congress should not be judged on the laws it makes, (which happens to be its Constitutional mandate) but rather “Congress ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”. Yes, he said that. Click Here if you don’t believe me.

So, Speaker of the House John Boehner who:

1. Has presided over the least productive Congress in the history of the United States since WWII, with fewer than 65 bills actually passed out of nearly 4,000 proposed so far this year…

2. Has presided over 41 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, yet never succeeded in actually repealing it…

3. Has given up on repealing the Affordable Care Act and has now stooped so low as to try to hold his breath and just refuse to pay for a law passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court. This is tantamount to stamping his feet and crying “no, no, no, no, I don’t want to go to bed, and you can’t make me!”

4. This guy, who has failed at everything he’s done since becoming Speaker of the House, including his personally described job of repealing laws, is for some reason still the head Republican in the United States!

To my Republican friends (and I know you’re out there lurking in the shadows), why the hell do you allow this abject failure to represent you?
I mean, I love a good fight. I respect someone who can make a good argument that may be contrarian to mine, as long as its well made. But this guy can’t even make a sustainable argument to those of his own political persuasion! He’s the head Repub and he can’t get any other Repubs to do what he says!

This orange-tinted, chain-smoking Tea Party apologist and sycophant, not only can’t get any bills passed, HE CAN’T EVEN GET ANY REPEALED! AND HE’S THE ONE WHO SAYS THAT THAT’S HOW HE SHOULD BE JUDGED!

Look, I want my friends on the historically wrong side of the isle to know that I understand. You’re kinda stuck with this guy and there’s nothing you can do about it. But I have an idea…

I know someone who got a bill through Congress that no one believed could pass. I know someone who rallied Congress to pass a bill that was first proposed nearly 100 years ago, supported by both Democrats and, in the 1990s, Republicans as respected at Robert Dole and Newt Ginrich! (Ginrich is, ahh, respected, right?)

I know someone who can actually get bills passed against enormous odds, standing firm against those who would smite them with every weapon at their disposal, including Fox “News” commentating half-term Alaska governors/failed VP candidates, New York real estate billionaires with private jets and delusions of stylish hair, overweight Oxycodone addicted womanizers with radio shows, recovering alcoholic rodeo clowns who..well you get the idea.

Yes, I know someone who can help. And if you like, I will personally contact Nancy Pelosi and ask her if she’ll come over to the dark, err…sorry, Republican side. You see, she has a proven track record of actually doing what she’s paid to do…pass legislation in the House of Representatives.

Keep your fingers crossed.

GOD: Atheists Are OK Now.

There was a minor firestorm last week when the pope said that all are welcomed into heaven by God-even Atheists. Pope Francis wrote, in an open letter in La Republica newspaper: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

Holy shit! God tolerates Atheists? Ah, well, er, ah…thanks?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the ultimate conundrum. Overall, Pope Francis has proven himself to be a kind, inclusive kind of guy. I like that in my Catholics. But this acceptance of Atheists by God is rather contradictory, wouldn’t you say? The premise that an entity would accept into his “kingdom” those who do not acknowledge his existence (and, in fact, vehemently deny it) sounds like they’re expecting us to be grateful. It’s as if he’s thrown us a Mulligan, just in case we want to renounce our non-religion as if it were Ted Cruz’ Canadian citizenship. It’s non-sensical.

It also suggests that this new Pope has the authority to supersede that which is strewn throughout the bible. John 3:36 says: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” That’s some serious wrath, folks, but apparently does not apply when the guy whose main gig is to uphold that stuff says “never mind”.

Another is Mark 16:16: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” That’s only two biblical references, and so far I’ve got wrath and condemnation issues up the wazoo.

Personally, I’m pretty sure that Francis should check with his boss before he lets the rabble past the guard at the gatehouse, ‘cause, well, you know how hard it is to get rid of rabble once they’ve been in your pool and seen your daughter in a bikini.

He might want to check the Poping For Dummies chapter that covers who gets all that fiery damnation and eternal agony before he gives us a pass on that.

Anyway, in the spirit of forgiveness and inclusion that the Pope has exhibited to Atheists this week, I would like to extend a similar invitation to Pope Francis. We, as Atheists, offer you salvation within our masses as well. We offer you relief from fear of an entity that threatens you with the fires of hell if you look the wrong way (Mark 9:47) but reassures you of his eternal love and salvation if only you’ll spend your entire life praising him and keeping the candle industry viable.

We offer you the pleasure of a life lived for its own sake. A life not fearfully and opportunistically lived toward the promise of a permanent ride on the Disney Dream featuring a Concierge Royal Suite and access to the bridge so you can steer.

A life of being good, not because the ecclesiastical Captain Krabs might be watching, but being good because it is that act, in isolation, which gives life meaning. And isn’t it you guys who invented this ethereal infrastructure for the singular purpose of finding meaning in your lives?

Well, homey, we never lost the meaning in our lives. It’s been here the entire time. The difference between you accepting us and us accepting you is that you don’t need to receive some erstwhile “forgiveness” to get OUR secret decoder ring. We’ll take you just as you are. The rings are free…

But you’ve got to let us try on some of those funny hats or the deal is off.
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Illusory Superiority or My Country is More Exceptional Than Yours.

If we can learn anything from Vladimir Putin’s otherwise historically revisionist diatribe in the NY Times the other day, it is that we are not the only county who considers itself to be exceptional, all evidence to the contrary.

In the closing to “Lake Wobegone Days”, Garrison Keillor describes his pastoral, mythical town by saying, “Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegone, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. (If the humor in the italicized part escapes you, please do not continue reading. You are not my target demographic, but thanks for playing. Alternatively, click HERE and come back when you’re done). Lake Wobegone is an idyllic metaphor for how the US sees itself.

Virtually every country can point to something in their past or present that makes them ostensibly smarter than the average bear (for those old enough to remember Yogi and Booboo). Greece invented democracy! Central America’s Incas invented math! Russia defeated the Nazis and were (for those who study history objectively) the true victors in the European theatre in WWII. The Chinese are the world’s oldest culture. India once ruled the world. Portugal ruled the seas, until Spain ruled the seas, until England ruled the seas, etc. Everyone has a reason to exclaim that they are the skinniest kid at fat camp, including the USA.

Now, to be clear, I really like the USA. I like living here. It’s a good place to raise a family, start a business and enjoy free speech. But there are lots of other places that are equally as good. I live here because it’s where I was born and where my family lives. Plus, I speak the language kinda OK.

That having been said, nationalist deltoid flexing is the most childish way of categorizing a country. If our self-worth is tied up in how “exceptional” we are, then we will forever be chasing whatever definition is tied to that ridiculous word. The problem is that the word is really not very well defined. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s try some, shall we?

Here goes:
If exceptional means that we’re good at winning wars, let’s hope no one brings up Vietnam or Korea.

If exceptional means that we have the best health-care, let’s ignore infant mortality, old age longevity and per capita health care expense.

If exceptional means that we can overrun any country on earth without breaking a sweat, let’s not discuss Iraq and Afghanistan.

If exceptional means being richer per-capita than any other country, let’s hope no one brings up Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Canada and four or five others.

If exceptional means we spend more money on the military and have more nukes than the next ten countries combined-OK, you got me there. But that just means that we’re special because we own stuff that kills people.

I’ve got lots more, but I’m hoping I’ve made my point.That point is, when your mom tells you that you’re the cutest, smartest and best-behaved kid in your school, it’s OK to go to bed content in the knowledge that you are. But if you think that you are the only one who has ever been told those things by a doting mother, if you think that all your playmates got the memo from your mom and believe that only you, not they, are supremely gifted, smart and cute, a.k.a. exceptional, then you are exceptional

…ly stupid.

Telling ourselves how exceptional we are is like an actor awarding himself an Oscar. You can’t be less objective than to judge yourself better than others. Everyone thinks themselves smart, good looking, good in bed, objective, fair, reasonable, etc. Everyone thinks that all their children are above average.

It is that very assumption, however, that ignorance of anything which happens outside of our little family, our little neighborhood, our little nationality, which often reveals exactly the inverse.

The Promise of Our Country-Unappreciated

I often think that the promise of our country is appreciated in inverse proportion to the benefits that many derive from it. It seems that those who receive the most benefit from living here are most convinced of their entitlement to it. To hell with those who have been left behind.

Pity.

We Don’t Want to Look Weak! So Let’s Kill Somebody!

When I hear the chants from members of both parties that doing nothing in Syria will make us look weak, I can’t help but wonder what country they’re talking about. We are in a conflict of one sort or the other virtually all the time-every two years at least.

I’m still on the fence regarding the complex issue of what to do with Syria. But anyone who suggests that the primary justification for killing people in a country most Americans can’t find on a map is to show our strength, is just manipulating our macho-man cowboy insecurities for their own political benefit. Ooooh, we don’t want to look weak, so let’s kill somebody!

One question to ask yourself is, since no other country is expected to intervene every time there is a conflict somewhere in the world, do those countries look weak? Do Russia, China, Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, India, Pakistan, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Peru et al appear to be weak because they don’t continually send troops and supplies around the world to support this or that dictator or militant group? How the hell can an entire country with the power and heft of the United States look weak just because they prefer to not kill people who’ve never hurt them?

If we are truly, as some are continually saying, the biggest, best, strongest country in the world, why do we have such an inferiority complex? Why do we have to be the bully who everyone is already afraid of, but constantly feel the need to beat someone up, just to remind them that we can?

Here is a list of wars and conflicts around the world that have involved the US in only the last 13 years. Read it and decide how weak we look to others around the world.

2000–2009
• 2000 – Nigeria. Special Forces troops are sent to Nigeria to lead a training mission in the county.
• 2000 – Yemen. On October 12, 2000, after the USS Cole attack in the port of Aden, Yemen, US military personnel were deployed to Aden
• 2000 – East Timor. On February 25, 2000, U.S. military personnel were deployed to support the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
• 2001 – War in Afghanistan. The War on Terrorism begins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, U.S. Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and “begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters.
• 2002 – Yemen. On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaeda Salim Sinan al-Harethi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing.
• 2002 – Philippines. OEF-Philippines. January 2002 U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines’ Armed Forces in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities
• 2002 – Côte d’Ivoire. On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire, U.S. military personnel went into Côte d’Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouake.
• 2003–2011 – War in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom. March 20, 2003. The United States leads a coalition that includes Britain, Australia and Spain to invade Iraq with the stated goal being “to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States.
• 2003 – Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 U.S. Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania
• 2003 – Georgia and Djibouti. “US combat equipped and support forces” had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.
• 2004 – Haiti. 2004 Haïti rebellion occurs. The US first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the U.S. Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional US combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH
• 2004 – War on Terrorism: U.S. military activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.
• 2004–present: Drone attacks in Pakistan
• 2005–06 – Pakistan. President Bush deploys troops from US Army Air Cav Brigades to far remote villages in the Kashmir mountain ranges of Pakistan .
• 2006 – Lebanon. U.S. Marine Detachment, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assists ground invasion by Israel and continued fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.
• 2007 – Somalia. Battle of Ras Kamboni. On January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional Federal Government continues, an AC-130 gunship conducts an aerial strike on a suspected al-Qaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.
• 2008 – South Ossetia, Georgia. helped to transport Georgian forces from Iraq during the conflict. In the past, the US has provided training and weapons to Georgia.

2010–present
• 2010-11 War in Iraq. Operation New Dawn. On February 17, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of September 1, 2010, the name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” would be replaced by “Operation New Dawn”. This coincides with the reduction of American troops to 50,000.
• 2011 – Libya. Operation Odyssey Dawn. Coalition forces enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 with bombings of Libyan forces.
• 2011 – War on Terrorism. Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. military forces in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear.
• 2011 – Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants begin in Somalia. This marks the 6th nation in which such strikes have been carried out, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
• 2011 – Uganda. US Combat troops sent in as advisers to Uganda.
• 2012 – Jordan. 150 US troops deployed to Jordan to help it contain the Syrian Civil War within Syria’s borders.
• 2012 – Turkey. 400 troops and two batteries of Patriot missiles sent to Turkey to prevent any missile strikes from Syria.
• 2012 – Chad. 50 U.S. troops have deployed to the African country of Chad to help evacuate U.S. citizens and embassy personnel from the neighboring Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui in the face of rebel advances toward the city.
• 2013 – Mali. US forces assisted the French in Operation Serval with air refueling and transport aircraft.
• 2013 – Somalia. US Air Force planes supported the French in the Bulo Marer hostage rescue attempt.

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