ERECTIONS--PRIVATE OR PUBLIC--THERE ARE APPROPRIATE TIMES AND APPROPRIATE PLACES
By Andy Weddington
Monday, 16 August 2010
"Laws control the lesser man...Right conduct controls the greater one." Mark Twain
Monumental erections--you know them when you see them. There's no mistaking them. They are powerful. There's a feel about them. They have a pulse. They are moving. Admirers flock to see them--to pay homage.
Back in the 90s two branches of the armed forces of the good ol' United States of America faced-off over an erection--a memorial.
The opponents: In the blue corner--outfitted with missles, airplanes, cool sunglasses, and long hair--the bright-eyed, baby-faced flyboys of the United States Air Force. And in the scarlet and gold corner--armed with rifles, bayonets, grenades, and sporting no hair but hairy-assed--America's darlings; the grizzle-faced, steely-eyed, scowling Devil Dogs of the United States Marine Corps.
The Army, Navy, and Coast Guard--with only betting interests in the fight--opted to keep their hands off this erection, and to maintain a well-beyond arm's length respectful distance from the agitated Marines.
In short, the issue was the United States Air Force Memorial Foundation initiated an effort to erect a memorial honoring the men and women who have worn their service's uniform. Nothing wrong with that--in fact, noble. Laudatory. Applause. Riotous applause.
A beaming President Clinton approved of the Air Force erection by signing it into public law. But by no means was it the first time a government erection went public.
One problem was that size mattered and the site initially approved for erecting the Air Force Memorial was too close for comfort to the United States Marine Corps Memorial--commonly known as the Iwo Jima Memorial. At least one congressman and sundry Marine Corps support groups took exception--this Air Force erection just could not stand. Not only was there objection to the desired site but a bill was introduced to prohibit the building of any memorial, monument, or structure of any type within view of the massive and stunning cast-in-bronze Iwo Jima erection. That is, sacred ground not to be desecrated; ever.
The issue was polarizing. Countering the Marines and their backers closing ranks and their prophylactic cause, the Air Force Association did likewise rallying support for their erection and position. And so went the battle--setting aside traditional weaponry, the Marines drew sword and the Air Force pen. Then it was up to posturing lawyers to wage war over the erection in the courtroom. Courtrooms settle many erection problems. Anyway, restraining orders were issued. Restraining orders were dismissed. Appeals were granted. Appeals were dismissed. The erection was going nowhere. The combatants paused to regroup and mull over their next move--careful not to make a dysfunctional one.
Guess who won?
After a couple of years of to'ing and fro'ing and looking at mounting costs of continued litigation, the risk of falling out of favor with powerful Marine veteran members of Congress, and angering Marines, Marine families and friends of the Corps from all generations, the foundation steering the Air Force effort agreed to an alternate site for their erection.
In this case, and contrary to the norm, the sword proved mighter than the pen. That is, in Marine-speak and pardon the terrible pun, the Marines beat the Air Force erection to Parade Rest.
So went the fight and story between two outfits--brothers in arms--of our Department of Defense over an erection.
Finally, during 2006, the Air Force erection sprang up at an appropriate time and in an appropriate place; as all good erections do. It's a good one and the right one. And the Air Force Memorial is truly a beauty of an erection; in reality, three erections. I'll not comment further on the impressive physical attributes and what they represent other than to say like all monumental, powerful erections there's a feel about it, it has a pulse, it is moving, and admirers flock to see it--to pay homage.
More than 14 years after initiating, the United States Air Force Memorial Foundation dedicated their erection on 14 October 2006 before a crowd in the tens of thousands--who came to witness history and admire the sleek, modern erection. The keynote address was delivered by President George W. Bush--once a National Guard fighter pilot and someone familiar with erections; he saw some topple and he, in turn, toppled one of Saddam, among other things, in the heart of Baghdad. Following is pertinent excerpts from the president's remarks.
"Thank you all. Thank you very much...Laura and I are honored to join you on this historic day.
With today's ceremony, the United States Air Force begins a year-long celebration of its 60th birthday. As someone who recently crossed that milestone it's not all that bad. I can think of no better way to begin the celebrations than by dedicating this magnificent monument. So...here in the company of the brave men and women of the United States Air Force, I proudly accept the Air Force Memorial on behalf of the American people.
A soldier can walk the battlefields where he once fought; a Marine can walk the beaches he once stormed; but an airman can never visit the patch of sky he raced across on a mission to defend freedom. And so it's fitting that, from this day forward, the men and women of the Air Force will have this memorial, a place here on the ground that recognizes their achievements and sacrifices in the skies above.
Building this memorial took a lot of talent and creativity and determination. Like the aircraft whose flight it represents, this memorial is a incredible feat of engineering. Like the country whose freedom it represents, this memorial is hopeful and optimistic. By its design, this monument raises our eyes toward the vast and open skies, and focuses our mind on the endless possibilities of human flight...
...Five years ago, our enemies learned this lesson anew after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. Within weeks of the attack, pilots at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri boarded B-2 stealth bombers, flew halfway across the world, refueling in mid-air, took out the Taliban and al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan, dropped into Diego Garcia for engine running crew changes, and then made the journey home. Jimmy Doolittle would have been proud.
Together with Navy and Marine aircrew, submariners, Special Ops forces from every service, and a vast coalition of nations, the United States Air Force helped deliver justice to a regime nearly 7,000 miles away from the World Trade Center, and helped put the terrorists on the run...
...Whether they are serving on the front lines, or bases overseas, or here in the homefront, the men and women of the United States Air Force bring honor to the uniform, and they are bringing us victory in the war on terror.
The stakes in this war could not be higher. Terrorists and extremists are fighting to overthrow moderate governments across the broader Middle East so they can take control of countries and use them as bases from which to attack America. If we do not defeat these enemies now we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. We are in a war that will set the course for this new century and determine the destiny of millions across the world. Defeating the terrorists and extremists is the challenge of our time, and the calling of this generation.
And like generations that came before, we will answer history's call with confidence. We will confront the threats to our way of life; we will fight for our liberty without wavering; and we will prevail...
...This memorial lies in sight of Arlington National Cemetery, where so many of those fallen airmen are buried. This memorial also lies in sight of the Pentagon, where our nation came under attack. It is a fitting location. Under these magnificent spires we pay tribute to the men and women of the Air Force who stand ready to give all for their country. And looking from this promontory to a place once filled with smoke and flames, we remember why we need them...
...To all who have climbed sunward and chased the shouting wind, America stops to say: Your service and sacrifice will be remembered forever, and honored in this place by the citizens of a free and grateful nation.
May God bless you all."
Now fast forward four years. People, and not just Airmen and Marines this time, are again fighting over an erection.
Among others, our president--of Muslim heritage--decided to weigh in on the fight over the planned new erection--a mosque--some two blocks from that sacred real estate in lower Manhattan known as Ground Zero; one site of the horrific 9/11 attacks on America where thousands of innocents died.
Until last week our Oval Office occupant had been silent on the New York City, but of national interest, erection. Last Friday evening, at the White House, President Obama shattered the silence. He told a dinner crowd gathered to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, "As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country." Mr. Obama further said, "That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable." Though Mr. Obama recognized the real estate where the towers stood was "hallowed ground" he said adhering to American values was the proper way to extend honor. Reflecting back when Catholics built churches and Jews synagogues in America our president said, "Time and again, the American people have demonstrated that we can work through these issues, and stay true to our core values and emerge stronger for it. So it must be and will be today."
And the very next day, poked to do so because of outrage, our president began clarifying what he meant about this controversial erection. It sounded like he was saying he's not sure that what he meant to say was what was understood and therefore he wanted to make sure that what he's now saying is more reflective of what he intended to say without really saying anything about anything. Is that clear? Milky? That was the intent. But, make no mistake, he's pro erection. And he's still talking.
The battle lines between what is a lawful erection and what is a morally right erection clear.
Since there is ample commentary and opinion in every news medium and I cannot offer anything new, there is no point in me addressing this contentious, emotionally-charged, polarizing inappropriate-in-time and inappropriate-in-place New York City erection in any depth. Other than to say it seemed important and necessary to offer a perspective sprinkled with levity and innuendo humor while respecting the absolute seriousness of the matter. Besides, so engorged with rage am I something regrettable would likely come out.
But I will say to anyone, our president included, who thinks an erection--a mosque--anywhere near Ground Zero is a good idea...
"Whether a public or private erection, legal or not, irrespective of our founding principles and values, exactly atop Ground Zero or a couple of blocks away, and regardless of how you want to grasp and twist the problem, building that mosque is simply wrong. It is wrong. It is wrong. It is wrong.
Did I mention it's wrong?
Like an untimely, uncontrollable physiological flash--triggered by raging testosterone--producing an embarrassing groin presence in a pubescent male while walking the halls in middle school and caught without a book in hand -- a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero is an inappropriate erection at an inappropriate time at an inappropriate location.
It'd be a bad, bad erection that would desecrate, in reality, burial grounds. And prevent a still oozing wound from ever healing much less scarring; ever.
Mature folks--wise folks--leaders; especially politicians and especially men, are expected to delay personal gratification until tending to the business of listening to and satisfying others. Gender notwithstanding, the whole lot of you are failing because so self-absorbed you're not listening. Consequently, you're all wet and your partner--the public--is not moaning but groaning in frustration and anger. Good grief, what other than an icy-cold shoulder would you expect? Clean up your damn mess. How embarrassing! Listen. Then try again."
At the hands of stiff opposition, the machinations encompassing this erection will undoubtedly be long-standing and colorful making the thrusting and parrying behind the Air Force erection appear lame; maybe even limp. And it's likely to be a long, long time, if ever (should what is 'right' prevail), before victors fire up post-erection stogies.
But should the unimaginable ever rise, and it should not, perhaps Mr. Clinton, a New Yorker for some time now and reported supporter of the Muslim erection, will still be alive and headline the stag-only burn. For old #42--fondly known as Bubba--would be the perfect guest as he knows a little something about religion, has first-hand experience with controversial public erections, and has smoked a cigar or two in his day. True to irony, and funny--but not in the 'ha-ha' sense, what goes around indeed comes around.
Never mind Airmen and Marines even considering attending. They'll be at the club talking tactics, throwing darts, shooting pool, rolling dice and, with raised cold-ones, toasting their erections.
As for the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard--I have no knowledge as to their erections.
And that is all I will have to say about that.
Now to close paraphrasing Twain's opening quote, 'Right conduct controls the greater man, and law controls the lesser man.' Therefore, with utmost sincerity, purity, and an unwavering foothold I say, "Might we glean straightup and reverberating lessons from the Air Force erection? In the name of God and what is right, no mosque. Never. Ever. Never ever. Amen."
Yesterday, a quick-witted friend and reader pointed out to me that one word for "fly" (the pesky bug) in Spanish is "mosca". Sounds a lot like mosque, doesn’t it?"
To which occurred to me: Hmm. Fly--pesky bug, Spanish for fly--mosca, Spanish fly--pesky erections and pesky mosques. Considering goingson with Muslims et. al. and illegal Spanish-speakers infiltrating our Southern border, how interesting. No, I don't know the Spanish or Arabic words for "erection" and I don't care.
Shoo fly -- Shoo mosca -- Shoo mosque!