by Andy Weddington
Friday, 07 February 2014
"I will speak with a straight tongue." Chief Joseph
For today, some Marine straight-shooting - ever civil but pointed at times - at sundry targets.
Nothing personal but the truth - as vowed in this forum.
Not in any particular order...
At least once in life, tip a $100.00 bill to a young hard-working service industry worker who does a great job for you and shares their dreams while going about their work - for which you pay $15.00 or less. You never know, they may just be your angel. Hope and faith, generosity gives them. Most likely you'll do it again. And maybe one day they'll do the same. Random acts of kindness are contagious. May they always out distance random acts of violence.
Anybody in a position of authority and responsibility that requires giving (them) the 'benefit of the doubt' doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. And that's especially germane if talking about the President of the United States of America (Brit Hume, take note and raise your standards.).
Anybody, celebrity or peon, who kills them self using drugs is a dope (Why do you think they call it dope?).
Anybody who believes Governor Chris Christie (R, NJ) did not know about the bridge brouhaha creating traffic havoc thus punishing the citizenry is a bigger dope.
Anybody who believes anything the president has to say is a still bigger dope. His disingenuous way early on, and continuing, ended him (see Aesop). Anymore he's embarrassing himself. And he's embarrassing our country. So, silence, please, sir.
A recent AP article covered Secretary of Defense Hagel's worry about a string of ethics lapses and his direction to leadership for urgency injecting "moral character and moral courage" into the force. Are you kidding, Mr. Secretary? It's too late! Perhaps the wrong people have been and are being promoted. Furthermore, you are addressing the problem from the wrong direction. The example starts in The White House! 'About face, sir!'
Respect is earned. And that which garners respect must be tended to regularly - like weeding a garden. As in maintaining gear and equipment, routine preventative maintenance precludes catastrophic failure.
There's a new airline program for The White House; Cabinet; Congress; and public office holders high and low and coast to coast: Frequent Liar Miles (the program seats come with less leg but more nose room and dividends pile higher than hair in a small town).
While I was out painting recently, a woman approached me and said, "I tried watercolors but gave up. I couldn't do them." I asked how many times she tried. "A couple," she said. I asked if she played a musical instrument? "Yes," she said, "the piano." I asked if she was competent? "Yes," she said. I asked if she achieved competency after sitting on the bench two times? She looked startled by my question and said, "Of course not." I said, "So what makes you think you should be a competent watercolor painter after a couple of tries?" She did not say much but noted my point. By the look on her face, she knew she'd been counseled, gentlemanly, of course, for her arrogance. She departed with something to think about. Maybe she turned to on her watercolors that day - with the vigor of practicing the piano. (Note: I've been painting watercolors for decades and still consider myself a beginner. They are so hard to do well. Hope is not a course of action, even when painting watercolors. Practice, practice, practice is a must to be good at anything.)
The latest rage - Facebook movies of others. They're flooding the site. Nice but why? Want to see a thought-provoking movie about the lives of others? Then rent the German film 'The Lives of Others' - it'll give you plenty to think about throughout and long after it's over. And you just might rethink Facebook activities.
It's great to see family!
It's great to see old friends!
It's greater still to see real old friends (especially if they're Marines)!
Speaking of Marines, why is there need for military recruiters?
I simply do not understand - why are snaking lines of citizens (as in outside Walmart for a free flat screen or an Apple store for the latest gizmo) ready to serve their homeland not overwhelming the Department of Defense?
Service to country should not be personal preference but a citizen's personal sense of duty, an understood obligation. As such is not the case, in the worst way America needs a military draft - eighteen year-old men and women. No exceptions! Exemptions for physical and mental defect only. But, women do not belong in combat.
Do not want to serve the country that, despite all of our self-inflicted problems, is still the envy of the world (take note of America's immigration - legal and illegal, and those still determined to destroy us)? Move to a Third-World land. They need you. And yours.
We need to change our national psyche to country and others before self. This 'all about me' nonsense is tiresome, draining, and destructive. And that paradigm begins early in life at home - carried into school, not taught there, and reinforced over and again in the classroom and on the competitive fields and courts.
I don't want to see nor hear of (nor from) Hillary Clinton ever again. In fact, a 'not within 100 miles of me' restraining order now declared.
Self-discipline and pride instilled in youth makes for character in adults. More discipline and pride, please.
Speaking of pride and self-discipline, they are the hallmarks of a U. S. Marine. But there is no reason whatsoever why such cannot be for every American. It should be. It must be.
The road to success is littered with the words - please, thank you, you're welcome, and yes and no sir or ma'am. Good manners and civility are not old-fashioned and never outdated. Practice them and reap the returns.
Look people in the eye when speaking to them. Talk less. Listen more. Shake hands, firmly. And hug with heart.
So called "brains," bloodlines, degrees, and superficial trappings do not a leader make.
There is but one trait necessary in an American president: Character (of the highest moral order) - and that comes from head and heart. Courage - physical and moral.
With that the military falls in line and follows accordingly (not contemptuously laughing and carrying on breaching ethics and core values - take note, Secretary Hagel).
Accordingly, America needs a person of character - a true leader - in the people's house. Let us not accept anything less.
So we pray in 45 - who's yet to emerge.
Think big. Dream bigger. Behave accordingly. Demand excellence, always.
Remember, tip a $100.00 bill some time. You'll make someone's day. Maybe change their life. By any account, that's affordable. Think of it as a societal investment - with unpredictable returns.
Keep the faith!
One saved round, best saved for the end, on the societal/cultural target...
Is there any value added with the descriptor 'Heterosexual Comic' in front of the name Bill Cosby? Or, 'Homophobic Writer John James'? Or, 'Sexually-confused Artist Lisa Jones'? Recently saw a talented stage performer described as a "Lesbian Humorist." Why? What does sexual orientation/preference have to do with humor? I don't know what a lesbian humorist is. Do they specialize in girl jokes? If so, that makes for an awfully small niche audience. I'd have been insulted. Then again, I'm not a lesbian.
Which reminds me of a lesbian story. So I digress. An old Marine fighter/attack pilot, a man's man, was sitting in a coffee shop enjoying his morning routine when a young woman seated nearby began telling him she was a lesbian. She shared that she thought of nude women day and night and could not think of much else. Nude women consumed her. And on she went about women. She then paused, took note of the Marine's flight jacket, and asked if he was a real fighter/attack pilot. He replied, "I thought so until listening to you. But now I think I'm a lesbian."
Humor is humor.
Why tamper with one's good name?
John James and Lisa Jones are names of fiction.