02 December 2008

The Threat Posed by the Federal Reserve

My Friends,

The modern media, since the advent of 60 minutes, has taken great pains to attempt to concern you about the “oh shit! d’jour”. We’ve been shown that the world is warming, that rogue icebergs are enroute to your home as we speak. We’ve been led to believe that cigarette smoke, high levels of triglycerides, and prolifigate use of the word “fuck” will result in damage to everyone around you, and might just cause the end of the world as we know it.

I attempt no such freakout. I wish simply to inform you of something that I have recently become aware of, and rationally and calmly wish to share this knowledge with you. The individuals who appear in the following link make this point far better than I ever could, so I will not waste your time in attempting to restate their argument. I simply wish to provide you with information that may sway you to think of the Constitution, that document that many of us took an oath to defend, and clear one hour out of your schedule to listen to a very reasonable explanation of where we are headed as a nation. I normally would not ask this of you, but I think that the information that you would glean from this video will change how you think in the coming days and months before us.


I truly appreciate your consideration.


01 December 2008

Thanksgiving Bile

It came to me as I piloted the space ‘tween fully awake and dead sleep the other night. (As does indigestion… as well as most of my flights of epiphany, which are roughly equivalent to indigestion, in a qualitative sense anyway.)

Folks, the seals have all been opened. Seriously. All of them. The End is at hand. The Rapture is nigh. Soon, we’ll have the place to ourselves, by God.

First, the Tampa Rays went to the World Series AFTER winning the AL East.

Second, the Yankees didn’t even make the playoffs, AND George Steinbrenner officially turned over the club to his sons within the same two week period.

Third, the Phillies (the only professional sports franchise to lose more than 10,000 games, for the Love of Christ) won the World Series.

Fourth and most remarkably, the words “National Championship” and “Texas Tech Red Raiders” have collided in the same sentence on several occasions within the past three weeks.

(Yes, yes. Please save the responses that would remind me that they were beaten like frenchmen by the inbred products of the Indian Territories. I watched the game, and now know what the subjects of a live-dissection feel like. This is the main reason why I did not write this missive last weekend, by the way, as I got hideously and morosely drunk after the 42-7 halftime score, but back to my learned discourse.)

Fifth, a former Commandant of the Marine Corps has agreed to be President-elect Obama’s National Security Advisor. With Hillary as SecState. I’d love to be a fly on the wall of those policy discussions…

The fact that all of these things have occurred in such immediate succession has me wearing a tinfoil hat with a loaded shotgun in my lap, most nights. What’s more, due to the crushing irony that surrounds me at every turn, I have been uncertain as to how to continue in this relentless habit of public reflection and analysis that I have taken up since some point in 2001, when Mike and the rest of my Reserve company were sitting in Cuba, and I became the first unemployed active-duty Marine Officer in recorded history.

Do I continue to shout into the forest with regards to the tyranny of the Leviathan and the insipidity of the sheep who continue to suffer the indignity of the domesticate? Do I turn up the volume on the vituperative sarcasm regarding these items, in hopes that it will become even more widely circulated, in the footsteps of H.L. Mencken? Or do I continue as I began, following in the impressive footsteps of Dave Berry, and simply point out the absurdity and confounding simplicity of the human condition?

Or should I just stop making this so Goddamn hard and just drink a lot, while sitting in front of an empty MS Word document, until I impose my will upon it?

I think I’ll do the latter.

Kids, it’s like the “alcoholic” to your “beverage”, the “fore” to your “play”, the “fire” to your “maneuver”, it’s…

Vol. LII
The New Prohibition and All the News That’s Fit to Print

“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition that he may abuse it.”
-George Washington

1) “Oh! I get it now! So if we levy a tax on bodily fluid expenditure, we can reduce the instances of sex, sports, masturbation, and sneezing!” Sometime in the late 19th century, the United States became settled from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. What followed was a period of urbanization and stabilization in which the forces of “civilization” were to finally take over the chaotic, uncivilized, and dangerous continent that we had finally conquered. This is to say, your Mom became ruler of the entire nation. Wonderful, unruly freedom for that part of the nation that was located west of the Ohio River was replaced with a litany of: “Stop running with those scissors”, “drink your milk slowly”, and “don’t pinch your sister”. This would eventually result in that Edsel of domestic policy: the Constitutional amendment prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, and/or distribution of distilled spirits.

Ever wonder why we evolved as a societal model? Well, I’ll tell ya. It was booze. Seriously. I learned this in Western Civ 1301, by God. One theory that is accepted by historians for the gathering of people into an agrarian collective is the discovery of fermented fruits as an intoxicating agent. As one might expect, this makes sense to me. Why in the hell should I chouse around elk and buffalo when I can settle down in one area and grow stuff that can feed my family the day that I harvest it, and get me shithammered three weeks after I squeeze its fluid into a vessel, add sugar and yeast to it, and bury it underneath yonder tree?

So, contrary to the human nature, these United States of America agreed to stop drinking on 16 Jan 1917. Completely. Like, or “go to jail if ya do”, completely. It was about as well thought-out as snake mittens.

Well, we’re headed back in that direction. Despite the fact that Christ turned water into wine…not the other way around. Despite the fact that grog is the one unifying aspect between every culture except that of the Islamic bent. Despite the fact that it most likely began the entire cycle of human collective interaction. The government doesn’t want you to drink.

I’ll give you a minute to read the article in the above link, and soak this in, as I freshen my drink and chuckle into my glass.

Ready? Okay folks, follow the bouncing ball. Now that you’ve read how alcohol is the driving factor behind untimely death, read this from the Mayo Clinic. I’ll finish my drink as you read…

People, this is fucking insane. I absolutely cannot stand stupidity and shortsightedness of this magnitude. Hands down, the biggest four causes of death in the world are: the application of combined arms, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes…not Drunk Driving, Liver Cirrhosis, or Bar Fights. Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes can be ameliorated by moderate consumption of alcohol. Yet the government is pushing, along with their lapdogs in the media, to reduce or eliminate your ability to consume by increasing the amount of currency necessary to purchase said tonic.

Fact is, our bodies seem to LIKE alcohol. Truly. In the same manner in which our bodies appear to like exfoliants, fiber, and spinach. Unlike spinach, however, alcohol facilitates my ability to sit here and vent my spleen. While moderate consumption of spinach enhances my ability to shit with relative regularity, the moderate consumption of alcohol enhances my mood through turmoil, contributes wildly to the capacity of creativity (name one puritan painter, author, or poet…thank you), and paves the road of societal interaction. Thirty years ago, when we were not so fucking anal retentive, how many “spinach parties” do you remember hearing about? Contrast that number with the number of “cocktail parties” that were thrown during that period.

Consumption of alcohol, in this society, has been viewed as vicious for time immemorial. This is in large part due to the fact that it was once outlawed by Constitutional Fiat. The fact is this: unless you are forced to swear it off due to behavioral considerations, it can actually contribute to a longer and more enjoyable life.

As I read the above argument, one may ask why, in fact, does the government object to moderate tippling? The dealio is this, people: there is a perception of safety and caring on the part of the the government in their concern about your intake of alcohol. It shows that those assholes are “doing something”. The fact that this particular “something” stomps on a right that I have, as a paying customer, to use this legal substance in a responsible manner gets lost in the overarching concern for the plight of those who use this substance irresponsibly.

Don’t think that your mom is running the government in your state? Check this out.

They’re after your right to buy and consume a beer at a reduced price in Massachusetts…

And Delaware…

And Connecticut…

And New Jersey…

Now, you won’t see a headline crying out at the injustice and inhumanity of the tens-of-thousands of tea-totallers who die annually at an early age due to the fact that they would not drink alcohol at all, which may have staved off whatever natural cause ended their trip around this mortal coil. In contrast, you will see report of every single individual who uses this substance in an irresponsible manner, resulting in the death or injury of another. While this is tragic, and is part and parcel of this mortal imperfection, it is not the fault of the substance itself, nor should it be an issue that is considered by the legislature for penalization through taxation or legal fiat. We, as a society, have sought to insulate ourselves against the results of irresponsibility for decades. We’ve tried to ban booze on one occasion, and are well on the way to banning guns. We’ve prohibitively taxed gasoline, although consumption of that resource has yet to be proven as harmful. We are becoming a culture that would rather reduce the access to a given good by way of taxation, in the name of safety, than demand that the individual be responsible in the use of that commodity at market value. I do not revile in the refusal of tea-totallers to imbibe the occasional cordial, as that is their right. However, no individual nor assembly should revile in my responsible consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol is just one area in which the government is hedging into your ability to spend your money or time in the manner that you, as a free human being roaming this planet, wish to do so. Other things on the chopping block: toting a gun (background checks, limits on the ability to buy ammunition in quantity, etc.), smoking a cigarette (taxation), driving a car (taxation), and saving money (taxation and redistribution to a class that will re-elect those who will redistribute). People, you’ve seen the news. We’ve been writing checks that we can’t cash as a nation, despite the amazing creation of wealth. Kick around on this site: http://www.mises.org/.

Ron Paul is right. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is wrong. Tell a friend.

Actually, it just occurred to me. I’ll out-live all those tea-totaling assholes anyway. So fuck ‘em.

2) Reasons for getting out of bed in the morning…

…is finding shit like this:

a) The Italian Job


Apparently, in Newcastle, Australia, they love their Italian food. We thoroughly enjoyed the random listing of contraband found in the car. I’ll bet that the Jack Russell Terrier is happy that his owner spent time on the inside. Fucker.

b) “Drop the poultry, lady…”

A North Carolina lady REPRESENTS, by God.

The term “weapons of opportunity” gains a whole new meaning in NC.

c) “Police admit that they have a lead in this case…”

Why everybody gotta be hatin’?

3) Epilogue
I telephoned an excited Wally last night, as I searched for additional material that he had sent me earlier last week which would buttress my argument in section 1 of this Bile. I was in relatively good form at the time of the conversation, and assured him that I would finish this and get it out last night. This was before I started drinking white russians. 2230 rolled around to find Laura standing over my left shoulder, watching me as I slept at my post, hat pulled down, arms folded, snoring.

I awoke at 0630 this morning, in my bed, in an utter panic, as I did not remember exactly how I got there, or if I had sent this, or even if I had finished editing this. I was molified by the fact that “The Bile List” had been lost, when Sean got his revenge on the Adams family for Sarah painting the toes on his right foot bright pink by putting my computer on “system restore”, which summoned the bi-annual return of the Retarded Mexican Mennonites, who immediately wiped my hard drive clean of past information. I spent a goodly portion of today in the reconstruction of said distro. (By the way, I’m sending this in the clear (with all of you on the “TO” line) this one last time. Look up there and see if I missed the inclusion of anyone, and send me a message identifying the fortunate soul who was spared the receipt of this fishwrap. The only one that jumped out at me was J.D. Martin. Eric, please send along his email, assuming that he still wants to receive this shit. I am certain that there are others. Your efforts are appreciated.)

In other news, Sarah has only recently returned from Tibet. Her efforts without the usual support were noteworthy. She did secure the release of Jack Bauer from the Chinese Government, after all. Her return, as well as that of her brother, Joel, were all well received, as all returned to the nest to scavenge…ahem!…um…I mean, partake in the bounty of the tribe during the yearly Thanksgiving feast. I caught several “looks” throughout the weekend, though, which would seem to indicate that something is, indeed, afoot. Whether it be direct action, or information ops, I reckon we’ll all either hang or succeed as part of the same unit, so wish us luck…we’ll need it.

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me, and fall as well.

Immundus, saecula saeculorum

21 November 2008

The Von Mises Website

People, in these days of economic doubt and uncertainty, there is a solution. It's not spoken by anyone named Keynes. It's told by a group of men that include Ludwig Von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, and Llewellyn Rockwell. Don't give into the mass hysteria, but check out this:


or this:


and look around a bit. We can work our way out of this, it is simply up to each of us to know what is true, what is valuable, and what we should think about the world around us. There is a war going on out there for the thoughts of us all. Remain suspicious of all that you read and hear. Believe only those things that you can verify. I remain.

Immunus, ergo sum.

04 October 2008

Range 410A at night

Background: We at the Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group (TTECG, a.k.a. "Coyotes") have recently added a new wrinkle to our training program: Night runs of a platoon attack at Range 410A. It's a pretty dynamic range, with several active support by fire positions firing at targets that are in close proximity to squads that are closing with those same targets. One of the contractors that works with me, Josh, is something of a skilled amateur cameraman. He took some awesome time-elapse shots. Check this out!

You'll see squiggly, irregular red and white lines throughout these shots. Those are time-elapse traces of Coyotes running with white or red chemlites. The white light down range is provided by 60mm mortar illumination rounds (thank God). I can't express the relief felt by someone controlling one of these things in complete darkness (there was no moon this night), praying that no one has arbitrarily decided to engage a target unsafely or wander into an active gun-target line, when an illum round goes up and you can see everyone and confirm that all is well. I aged several months, the first time we did this. The red streaks are tracer rounds from 7.62 machineguns.

This is one of my favorites. The two elbow-shaped arcs in the background are rounds that have ricocheted before tracer burnout. The flash on the right side is a 60mm mortar illumination round that has landed before burnout.

The green flare denoted that the squad that I was with was about to close with the target.

The blurry red blob in the background is me, standing near the entrance of trench 1 (the aforementioned target), madly waving my red chemlight as I deny fires to the left side of trench 1. The squiggly white lines are the Coyotes at the support by fire position moving their chemlights up and down, giving visual confirmation that they have denied those fires to the shooters that they are controlling. After seeing all the Coyotes in his position waving their chemlights up and down, the Coyote who "owned" that support by fire gave me a radio confirmation that his position was denied, allowing me to continue to the trench.

You can just barely see me standing at the entry point to trench 1 in this picture denying all fires on trench 1 (the mound of dirt on the left, under the red streaks in the background). Yes, those tracers look like they were going over our heads. They weren't. They were about 25 meters to our right. We did this 9 times over a three day period without incident. It is safe, as counter-intuitive as that may sound.

I fuckin' love my job.

Another green pop-up, denoting an immediate push from trench 1 to trench 2.

Suppression to support the push to trench 2. That's just so fuckin' cool.

More fire on trench 2. You really don't appreciate just how much power that one platoon of Marines (36 dudes) with a machinegun section in support (13 dudes with four machineguns) can bring to bear on the enemy until you see it at night. Note that for every red streak you see in these photos, there are 4 rounds that are NOT tracers impacting on those same locations. This is illustrated very effectively here:

Trenches 1 and 2 having been secured, the final squad moved around our left flank, going deep to assault trench 3. As they moved up, we "painted" that the enemy had driven up a couple of vehicles and were engaging them with machineguns on those vehicles (actually they were big HESCO barriers filled with dirt). This allowed that squad to fire on those targets with AT-4 rockets. Of course, they missed (they generally miss with rockets, sad but true), but it makes for a very fine photograph. Josh should win an award for catching this rocket in flight.

Finally, and because I love the abject pose here, indicating complete acceptance of whatever may come, I leave you with a great shot of me getting smoked out while resting between day runs of this range (note the supine driver in the back seat, which is standard conduct for drivers, as they wait for us to get done so they can go back to the shop and get ready for the next day) :

Again, thanks to Josh for the photos.

19 September 2008

Great freakin' Movie

Just watched V for Vendetta. Awesome flick. Quote of the movie "We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us". Watch it, I'm serious.

On another note, I plan on chaining myself to this spot until I finish the story of the six day bender/ordeal in Las Vegas. Please stand by.


14 September 2008

Gears and Closing in Las Vegas, Pt 2

Like lemmings to the edge, we were. Unyielding, undaunted, unable to walk a straight line ten minutes after waking...

Vol. LI
Gears and Closing in Las Vegas, Part two

The Westin, 1100 or so, Saturday Morning.
I wake up smelling mildly of scotch. Whether it is because I'm emitting the scent from my pores, or because I'd managed to fall asleep with a glass of it on my chest, and rolled over in the mid-morning remains to be seen. Perhaps a little of both, I suspect.

I awake to find my roomate, Mike Griffin, gone. I know him to be a college football fan, and realize that most of the east coast games are currently in progress. I surmise that he's either down at the bar watching football with St. Michael of Ann Arbor, or that I returned from gambling at 0530 and woke him out of a sound sleep in an attempt to interest him in a debate regarding the efficacy of a minimalist government in these modern times, which resulted in his hasty departure in a state of abject frustration. Again, either explanation probably works, and in fact, both probably apply in this situation.

So I awake and spend the first thirty or so minutes of my day in a futile attempt at making the impossibly complicated hotel-room coffee machine work as it was intended. After sticking my head out of the room door and summoning a member of the housekeeping staff who was cleaning the room across the hall, she and I found the problem.

It was unplugged.

A shower and an irished-up cup of coffee later, I feel like I may just actually survive until happy hour. I sail down to the casino bar and find St. Michael, et al, firmly ensconsed and enjoying bloody Marys. I order one, take a sip, and receive a renewed appreciation of the concept of a "Shampoo Drunk".

You know how when you shampoo once, and "repeat" as is demanded on the bottle, it takes less than 1/3 of the amount used in the original treatment to obtain a similar quantity of lather? Well, booze seems to have many of the same properties. Day two of a bender is always a cheap date. Maintaining a buzz in this state is relatively easy, but unfortunately somewhat difficult to control. Much like coming off of an interstate highway, where one travels at speeds of up to 80 m.p.h., it seems like you're standing still when you're going 55 or 60. Likewise, when you've spent the prior night pounding alcohol in an effort to consume it all before it becomes extinct, it is sometimes difficult for the inexperienced to awake from a good drunk and continue to drink without crashing into the mountain before the sun goes down. One must realize a fundamental truth here: drunkeness should be a rather flat sine curve, where x="how long I still have money", and y="how long I am still ambulatory". Unfortunately, many of us think that we are still in our young twenties, where drunkeness was a bell curve, and where x="how much fun am I having?", while y="how much of that have I poured down my neck in the last ten minutes?".

What resulted in those days was inevitably this:

We'd be having a great time. All of us were handsome/beautiful, funny, and charming. Someone would get the wonderful idea that everyone needed to do shots of Jaegermeister, so that we could become exponentially more handsome/beautiful, funny, and charming. Now, this ignores another of my favorite tenets: The Law of Diminishing Returns. This principle maintains that a continual increase in effort or investment does not correspond in a continual increase in output or results. When applied to drinking, we notice that there is a point where a continual increase in volume-consumption stops leading to a corresponding increase in the aforementioned personal characteristics, but rather, a decrease in those characteristics. Unfortunately, we did not discover until our early thirties that the solution to this conundrum is not continued intake of large volumes of alcohol. What happened in those days is that, after the initial shot of Jaegermeister, we would stop exhibiting the ability to speak coherently, move in a bipedal fashion, or continue to concentrate on a single point in space. We felt that the solution to this was that we needed more booze. Predictable outcomes were in evidence. Thus, I can never return to that bar on Broadway and Ave X in Lubbock, where I projectile vomited, with my hand held firmly over my mouth, as I ran down the plush spiral staircase towards the front door and my good friend's pick-up truck. (Giving new meaning to the phrase "Let's paint the town red!")

Adult boozing is knowing one's limits, and understanding when it is acceptable to cross them without incurring corresponding damage to one's reputation as a man. When we were young, "being a man" suggested a psychotic willingness to drink until one was comatose. Friends, we ain't young anymore. "Being a man" means knowing where the line is between "buzzed" and "fucked up", and then riding that line like Tony fucking Hawk. Many of you may be frankly surprised to hear me characterize drunkeness in such responsible terms. I submit that you can't do what I've done to my liver since the late-80's without becoming a little smarter about how you go about doing it. I've told my Marines for years that the new-puritanism that is being forced down our throats is wrong, that a man CAN imbibe and still retain his judgement, that being a true Marine is just that, in fact. The challenge isn't how stupid you can be after downing a fifth of something that could take the paint off of a ship in one draught. The challenge is how long you can go while enjoying the finer things...a good bourbon, a fine steak, a good band, a fine martini, etc...without losing the ability to appreciate these things. To me, a good bender is not me tromping, weaving, and stumbling about for hours without end. A good bender is me enjoying as many of these good things as I can, with minimal sleep. "Being a man" equates to ENJOYING the finer things, not simply CONSUMING them.

Back to my learned discourse.

So I sip into this bloody mary for a reasonable amount of time (side note: Absolut Pepper makes fantastic bloody Marys). At some point in that milieu of football and conversation, we decide to go to the legendary dive in Vegas known as the "Double Down". We quickly assemble, catch a cab, and become motile.

The Double Down Saloon, Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1600.
A quick note about the Double Down Saloon: until sometime in the 1990's, this bar did not show football on the TVs surrounding the bar. Not NASCAR. Not Music Videos. The Double Down only showed midget porn, for twenty four hours a day, for seven days a week. I knew this coming in, by the way.

We pull up in the cab and find a single motorcycle in the parking lot. Most of us thought it was closed. I pulled on the door, surprised to find it open, and we entered. What a great fucking place! There was nothing on the jukebox but punk rock, most of which I'd never heard of. While the bartender looked as if he could bench-press a small church, and growled like a starving pit bull, he seemed pacified by chewing on an ashtray, after serving us. I laid five on the bar for a two dollar beer. I waited for change. The bartender put my change down and actually sniffed as he lowered his head. That's called a three dollar tip.

The TVs had college ball on (damn, no midget porn!), and they were having a special on Pabst Blue Ribbon in the longneck variety. ("Goes down like candy", I've been informed.) My kinda fuckin' place, by God! Griff quickly put fifty dollars in the juke and flatly refused to leave until he heard his last song. I played a few games of billiards, until I recognized that I had the fine motor skills of a three-toed sloth. We maintained pretty well, but you could just tell on every face that each one of us wanted to stick around all night and just howl at the fuckin' moon. I think each one of us said, at some point in the hour or so that we spent there, that "man, I'll bet this place is fucking sick after about eight o'clock." To which the bartender would nod.

We left about 1700 or 1730. Off for the Hard Rock Casino.

Before leaving, we found Clubber's sainted cousin, Augusta, in the midst of this bender. Promised by Clubber that she'd find a bunch of fun and exciting Marines to hang around with for the evening, the lady found a bunch of former Marine Officers who were as boring as saltine crackers and drunker than Otis on The Andy Griffith Show. Despite her disappointment, Augusta proved able to needle us as was appropriate, was outrageously funny, and was accepted as a member of SCAM-D by the end of the evening.

The Hard Rock Casino, at some point in the late afternoon
Buzz maintenance is difficult when you're surrounded by Eric Martin. Eric is one of the few men that succeeds in surrounding an individual. He's large. He's aggressive. He drinks a lot of beer. He moves constantly. Looking at my cell text messages just now, I've got like five messages just from the few hours that we were at the Hard Rock. "We're over at the Restaurant". "We're at the Circle Bar". "WTFRU". "We've moved to the CP bar." It was exhausting.

We did find a great restaurant that had a great Saturday special on Steak and Shrimp for $7.77, and ate in good company. I paused to have an extended cell phone conversation, and when I rejoined the group, I found half of them gone. Asking what had happened to them, I received another text from Eric: "I'm down with Pink Taco" (very freudian, I may add). So over we went, after much drunken wandering, looking for the right route, to a bar with the unfortunate name of "The Pink Taco". When we found them, I lit up a camel and was taken to task by the bartender that it was "against the law of the state of Nevada for [me] to smoke that". I was shocked: 1) I didn't know that Nevada actually had laws; 2) I had no idea that there was a place in this state besides the airport and hospitals where you COULDN'T smoke. I made a snide comment to Eric, and walked out to the bar across the hallway to finish my smoke. When I returned, I attempted to order another Sam Adams. Apparently, they don't have those either, at the Pink Taco.

We left soon after.

Napoleon's Piano Bar, The Paris, sometime in the late evening.

Following almost an hour spent wandering Bally's/The Paris, with the only noteworthy event being my loss of a hundred bones on three tens at the Bally's poker room (to a set of jacks, for the love of God), we found a great bar. Of course, there's a non-smoking concourse that leads up to the door of the place, but I've come to expect this.

Great fuckin' place. Good music. Comfortable seating. Competent wait staff. We procede to drink even more. Augusta, God bless her, managed to find an excuse to ditch a bunch of old men about 0100. Griff, St. Michael, Craig, Clubber, Eric, and myself maintained and continued. About 0130, St. Michael checks out to make a head call. We maintain conversation in his absence. About five minutes later, I get a phone call. Puzzled at the fact that the caller ID said "St. Michael", a man who, until five minutes ago, had been by my side for the past 12 hours, I answered: "Unclean"

"Hey, it's Mike. I went to the bathroom, and someone locked me in here. Come let me out."

Suddenly, I'm on my feet. Walking down the fifty yards to the bathroom on the concourse between The Paris and Bally's. Walking into the Men's room. Looking everywhere. Nobody. I walk around and look under the stalls. Nothing. "Hey Mike, I'm in here. I don't see anything."

"Well, I'm locked in here. Find me."

I see a locked janitor's closet in the back, and walk up to it. "Okay, I think I understand. Knock on the door where you are."

[faint knock, knock, knock]

"Hmmm. Well Mike, you're not where I am, but I can hear you. Hold on"

I walk out into the hallway, between the Men's and Women's rooms. "Okay," I say, "try again."

[clearer knock, knock, knock]

"Mike, are you sure that you're in the Men's room?"

[Like he's talking to a bright but unfortunately addled child] "Of course I'm sure, Larry! I just used the bathroom, turned to get out, and THEY LOCKED THE DOOR ON ME!"

"Alright, alright Mike. I'm on the motherfucker. Just give me a second," I say, grinning as I begin to understand. I walk to the entrance of the Women's room..."Okay Mike, knock one more time."


"Okay Mike, gimme a sec. I think I've found you."

And so I walk through the open Women's room door, make a hard right, and find my good friend. He was standing at the back of the room, between two rows of stalls (note: not a single urinal in sight) with his left hand leaning against the top of the locked janitor's closet, and his right hand holding his cell phone to his ear. Thank God, not a single woman was present, cowering in her stall as Mike hammered at the janitor's door. I close my phone.

"Mike," I say, sticking the phone in my pocket.

Mike slowly turns, hanging up his phone, his face defining the term "rueful".

Smiling from ear to ear, standing in a Women's room, in The Paris Casino, on the Strip, on a Saturday night, I look up at my friend...

"Hey Mike, I think I found the way out."


13 September 2008

Bile Turns 50!

No Intro, no chaser. Neat. Some liquors are too fine to be cut with ice, water, or other fillers. Like that, it is...

Vol. L
Gears and Closing in Las Vegas, Part one.

It seems somehow fitting, relevant, and somewhat satisfying that the 50th volume of this vituperative collection of barely coherent rantings comes on the heels of one of the most fucked up benders that I've ever been on. It seems, my friends that last weekend marked the festival of drunkeness that is an annual tradition of that most august of organizations that was known, until recently, as the Southern California Association of Marine Drunkards (SCAM-D). For those of you who have recently tuned into this freakshow, there's about 10-20 of us who are all loosely affiliated with either the Marine Corps, the U.S. Military, St. Michael of Ann Arbor, or being able to stay awake, despite downing a fifth of decent gin, for 96 consecutive hours. (In many cases, all four affiliations apply. Void in Utah.) It seems that this intrepid body invades a different city every year, in the late summer, to meet, eat a decent meal, carouse for a couple of days, and take nourishment from a bottle until it's time to sober up for the flight home. Over the past several years, we have descended upon Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, our Nation's Capitol, some town in Canada, and new york city (we skipped a year, due to the fact that most of us were deployed in 2004). Due only in part to my howling objections that this had become an east coast-centric gathering, my bretheren agreed this year to meet again in the esteemed city of Las Vegas. I was particularly looking forward to this because I could drive to that locale, thus saving untold hundreds of dollars in air-fare, so that I could drink and gamble on the difference.

And so I threw a bag in my truck on Friday morning, stopped by the liquor store for hotel-room pre-flight booze and purchased a fifth of Dalmore, a fifth of Basil Hayden's, and a carton of cigarettes, and departed Twentynine Palms. A cool and clear morning it was. Imagine my satisfaction as I drove down Amboy Road and looked to my left to watch my Coyotes from 20 km away, as they controlled India 3/8's running of Range 400, while I absconded to Sin City for what would prove to be a Thompson-esque bender.


The world was my oyster. My truck handled nimbly. The playlist on my MP3 player...perfect. I howled across the desert, looking forward to watching Eric get 86'd from the hotel pool (this happened...before 1630 on Friday), looking forward to arguing with St. Michael about...something, looking forward to not drawing a sober breath from my arrival until sometime Sunday afternoon (which would roughly align with checkout time).

I made Amboy in record time. I then hooked a left on Kelso Road and began nimbly making my way towards I-40. Laughing all the way. I started uphill after going under the 40, and got most of the way uphill going 65 m.p.h. when it happened. With no discernable warning, my tachometer went into the red, and I lost all power to my drive-train. Desperate, I downshifted into 4th gear and clawed back into cruising speed. Once there, I attempted to again shift into 5th...



Okay. Good News: we're still moving forward. Bad News: we've lost 5th gear.

I uttered a string of curse words that should have been recorded for their cunning, profanity, and duration.

About the time I said "fuck" for the last time, I neared the railroad station that has been arbitrarily set at the hamlet of Kelso, California. All that is entailed here for the skillful driver is a downshift into 3rd for a small boost around a gentle bend which grants one access to a road that parallels the railroad tracks all the way to another shit-splat called Cima, California--thirty or so miles distant. I'm praying for another gear, thinking "Just give me 2nd and 4th, and I can drive to Greenland, by God." Here comes the turn...



...let it out...



Okay. Let's try 2nd...



So, to sum up: no 2nd gear, no 3rd gear, no 5th gear. Probably, no 1st gear (but I won't know until I stop, so let's not attempt that just now).

But we're still moving forward. Which is good, given the alternative, which entailed being stuck with a vehicle in the middle of the largest desert in the United States. Grateful for what I had, I continued to push, by God. Now, one would say, "how the hell did you propose to get there in 4th gear?" Well, I'll tell ya. I knew that, by that point, I had to worry about three intersections to safely get myself to sanctuary: the Y-intersection at Cima, California; the on-ramp onto I-15; and the off-ramp onto Flamingo Blvd in Vegas. After that, I figgered, I could drop into a parking lot, call a tow to a garage, and fix whatever needed to be fixed. The fact that I did not have to pay air-fare, and thus "save money to drink and gamble", and the irony that I now WISHED that I could have flown into Vegas is not fucking lost on me, people...

So I get to Cima. Imagine, for those of you who have not driven this route, a Y-intersection that is less than fifty meters after a railroad trestle. Now imagine a desperate man in a truck, who, like Keanu Reeves in Speed, cannot slow down past a certain speed and retain forward movement. Now imagine that same man slowing to 30 m.p.h. in front of the 15-degree embankment at the railroad trestle at Cima, before letting out the clutch in 4th and actually catching air, while waiting to land, and clutch, in order to make the Y that would take that man to the interstate...


I caught the Y at Cima at a tame 30, gently let out the clutch, cut the corner through the incoming lane, and found myself facing the 15 with enough torque to make it back to cruising speed...

Wow. Two more intersections.

So I'm cruising up whatever-the-fuck-they-call-that Road between Cima and the 15. Hares and slow moving tumbleweeds avoiding the right of way like the plague. I ain't stopping, and I ain't slowin' down. I come upon a smart looking sedan about the time the National Park ends and reality begins.

Brake Lights.

What the fuck?

This domesticated idiot almost came to a stop in front of a cattle guard.

I heel over into the left lane, identifying no oncoming traffic in the other lane (thank God), blaring my horn, and brandishing the second finger on my right hand to the affected dipshit who seemed momentarily confused by the parallel metal bars crossing the road. The fact that this guy figured that a cattle guard comprised a counter-mobility obstacle to the right of way, on a state fucking highway, has been burned into my memory. I'll bet that asshole uses his elbow to hit the paper-towel dispenser in public bathrooms. Shithead.

Anywho, I make it to Interstate 15, praying that no similar citified morons are in evidence, and find to my delight that the intersection is easily transversed at 30 m.p.h. After taking the easy right hand turn off of Cima Road, I hit the 15 at 60 m.p.h. Two down, one to go. And it is a lonnnnnnnnnnnng way to the next one.

Any mortal that has driven the route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas knows that the speed limit is 70, that 75 is optimal, and that 90 is optional. So, there I was, in 4th, going 60-65 m.p.h, and pulling 2500 r.p.m. on the tach without an appreciable increase in engine temperature. And getting passed like the world was standing still. It. Took. Forever.

Finally, I hit the Vegas city limits. I'm churning through the possibilities. I called Eric and gave him a warning order that, once I stopped, I'd need a ride and a tow. He said that he'd be waiting. Okay. That's solved, at least I'll have some ability to get around once I hit the city limits...and I keep pushing.

Now at this point, what I'm looking for is an off-ramp with parking lot on a right hand turn, before a traffic-light. People, that animal does not exist on the southern end of Las Vegas. Everything is an incline to get off the interstate, with a light on the intersection. So I drive on...

...all the way to the street that my hotel is on: Flamingo Blvd. I take the exit, relying on skill and cunning to make the right off the interstate. Magically, as I come to the intersection, I get a green light! Booyah!

Okay. So here I am on the Strip. Can't stop until I find a parking lot, or my hotel. I'm at the Westin, which is about five blocks away from the interstate, past Las Vegas Blvd. It is time for maneuver warfare/Sun Tzu if I've ever seen it. I became water flowing downhill. Looking down Flamingo (the left two lanes) I see traffic backed up from three blocks away. However, Las Vegas Blvd has access at that point in the two right lanes, and that light is green...

...I'm so there.

So I'm heading away from my destination (which sat at the corner of Flamingo and Koval), with an interstate on my right, and can't stop. This means that I have to find either a parking lot on my right, or a green left arrow at any intersection. I stayed in the middle lane to be better suited to make a move in either eventuality. A green arrow popped in my face at Harmon. I took it. Another magically popped up at Koval. Booyah. So I'm going north on Koval, in the middle lane looking for parking lots and left arrows. BOOM. Just before Koval and Flamingo, I see the arrow turn green.

Problem: there's a cab on my port quarter, and he didn't look like he wanted to let me in. I'm at 25 m.p.h. and de-accelerating, so I popped on the blinker, started waving out the open driver's side window and singing "My Baby LEFT Me"... and whipped into the turning lane with about three inches' grace on either side (between me, the cab, and the car slowing down in front of me). I'm at 15 m.p.h. now, so I wind it up to about 4k and let out the clutch. The clutch burned, but quickly shook it off, and I skidded through the intersection under a red light, "hic-hic-hic"ing my rear end as I did. The entrance to the Westin parking lot was a bare 150 feet from that intersection, so I stood on the brakes, heeled a right, sailed to the back row of parking (mercifully empty), and slid into a slot in open-parking.

My soul cried out as my faithful truck shuddered to its final halt, like Elwood Blues' car did in the last scene of the Blues Brothers as they arrived at the Cook County Assessor's office. I took a moment to carress the dashboard and the gearshift, 'ere I exited her familiar confines...

Pulled luggage, ball caps, and whiskey bottles. Called Eric. "Hey Man. By some fuckin' miracle, I made it here without stopping," I told him.

"Really?" he said. "I'll be damned," He added. "Me and Clubber'll be up at the pool."

I traipsed into the Westin, then. Found the Concierge. Walked up, and with a straight face, said: "Ma'am, I need the number for someone who can fix my transmission."

I could have kissed this young lady when she did not blink, but simply asked me: "Do you have a place in mind, or are you just looking for something close?" Vegas is feral, by God.

So, that information having been obtained, I found my friends. Eric and Clubber were still preparing for their jaunt to the hotel pool. I reckon they had a better part of a case of assorted beer iced in a plastic bag-within a laundry bag. We all shook hands, and I started making calls to find a guy to tow/fix my truck, while they sailed off to the pool. After talking to a transmission shop, I called the tow company that serviced his garage, gave an address, and worked out a link up plan.

Forty-five minutes later, Brad Pitt's character in True Romance drove a tow truck into the Westin Hotel parking lot in Las Vegas, Nevada. He said that he dug the fact that I was a Marine from 29, and would put a good word in for me with Raymond, the Portuguese mechanic who was to be in charge of the repairs. I wished him a good weekend, and repaired to the tenth floor to crack that bottle of Basil Hayden's and see how much I could knock out of the neck of that thing before the rest of the heathens arrived...

I think I was on my third sip when Eric showed back up. Yup, 86'd outta the pool. No shit. In less than an hour, he got a towel, sat down, and cracked a beer before the towel collector-guy (AKA: "the Westin Cabana Boy") came up and discovered that Eric and Clubber had smuggled in the better part of a liquor store. "You can't have all that in here!", said Cabana Boy. "I shoulda realized they would be that sensitive, seein' as how they have a bar up there," said Eric after he was ejected.

All going according to plan so far, by God.

I'm afoot.

Eric's been 86'd before sundown.

Mike Griffin and Mike Cochran aren't even there yet.

I repaired to the bar on the casino floor, due to the fact that we've booked in the only smoke-free hotel in Nevada. (This is a trend, please stand by.) I walked up with a bourbon in my hand that was clearly in a glass that was of a style unique to the rooms. The bartender gave me the stink-eye as he asked me if he could get me an eight-dollar drink. I respectfully declined. He frowned at my glass. I looked him in the eye and said, as I put two dollars on the bar, "Look pal, you won't let me smoke anywhere else in this place. This is less of a bar than it is a designated smoking area. Thanks for your time." He winked knowingly and left me to my own devices.

Thus began something of a rotation that afternoon, as we waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. Buy a three dollar beer, finish it, then excuse myself, hit the elevator, go to the room and fill a glass, hit the ice machine for a handfull of cubes on my way to the elevator, and go back and watch the Cubs' game. I did two complete cycles of this before Mike Griffin and Mike Cochran arrived. We all linked up with Craig Wilson, who'd been there waiting since March sometime, and set out for a really good Italian spot that I can't remember the name of, except they do a great sausage/ziti combo and they're on Flamingo across from Bally's, next to a liquor store that is protected by skinheads.

Following the meal, we gambled at a place called Bill's across from Bally's, and eventually at a dive called "Ellis Island" which is on Koval next to where I almost mauled the taxi driver. I played decent blackjack, despite the fact that Clubber insisted on hitting sixes on the dealer's five, until he gave up and succumbed to sleep. I remained at Ellis for another hour, found the bar back at the Westin, and watched the sun rise.

Slept four hours, hit Holy Bloody Mary, and started it up again...

Day one, people. Not bad. Stranded, in Vegas, with a purpose...

Immundus saecula saeculorum,

11 September 2008

BILE Warning!

Just got back from a five day bender in Vegas. Shot my truck in the head and left it in a ditch. Found a friend trapped in a bathroom on the strip. My friends, do please stand the fuck by, cuz' this may win me the fuckin' Nobel...

Vol. L
A Legendary Bender in time for your 50th Volume!

17 August 2008

Bile XXXIX, version I (Just Fucking Read It!)

Here's the post that I think probably represents best the whole Unclean Philosophy. No frills, just Unclean being Unclean:

  • In the world I see - you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
    -Tyler Durden

    We are almost there, by God. Almost to the point where this huge, malignant zit pops in an orgasmic purge of puss and infected blood. Call it a metaphorical cleansing of the societal hair folicles. Call it a bullimic purge of the excess of modern society. Or call it what it is, the end of a self-destructive cycle of laziness and ignorance. It won’t matter. The end result will be the rapid decline of a society that once prided itself as the Light and the Hope of the modern age. An alternative to the self-destruction inherent in Marxism. An alternative to the lack of individuality inherent in Fascism.

    What we’ve evolved into is an example of the bastardized ideals and half-assed devotion to the principles that founded this Republic. Oh sure, we’ve seen universal suffrage, gender and racial equality all come about without a major revolution. Moreover, we’ve weathered the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Japanese Empire, and the Soviet Empire. Plus, we’ve achieved monetary hegemony over the economic distribution of oil since the early 1970s. Yet, none of those things have guaranteed our continued existence. For what will defeat us will not be our lack of a powerful Navy, a two front war, or an unsound fiscal investment to keep up in an arms race. What will defeat us is our inability to identify who our enemy is.

    Now, contrary to what the news would have you think, our enemy is not the current President of the United States. Nor is it the inability of Brittney Spears to conduct herself as if she were older than 18 years of age. This problem has nothing to do with Madonna’s adoption, Simon’s displeasure with the hirsuite individual singing in front of him on American Idol, nor whether or not Brad Pitt is morally justified in banging, and subsequently marrying, Angelina Jolie.

    The enemy is our expectations. We have allowed ourselves to be stuck here, bemoaning our lack of security, our credit rating, and the relative prospects of sexual gratification.

    What we have not considered is the cost of our freedom to do these things and explore these paths. Do they include some form of sacrifice? Will I need to risk anything in the maintenance of this self-autonomy? Is it possible that I might be inconvenienced? Be unpopular? Will I have to tell the ignorant assholes around me things that they might not wish to hear?

    Yes. You may. In fact, this world does not resemble the world in which you grew up. We all grew up assuming that this would all be a rerun of the Eisenhower era, that we would all assume jobs where the money would come easy as long as we worked honestly, while the military kept the barbarian hordes off the gates and outta the market. Where our children would grow up fearless, and our golden years would be spent in reflection on the net gain that we had factored into human existence…

    …But, that ain’t happening, is it? The barbarian hordes blew up the fuckin’ trade center, for Chrissake, and are probably making inroads into blowing up our local International Airport right now as we read this. The Soviet God of Communal prosperity has been defeated and replaced with the Mohammedan God of Universal supplication to the Sharia. The difference is that the Commies just wanted us to be communist…the Mohammedans want us to all die as infidels right fucking now.

    And in the midst of all of that, all of this dire posturing, are the American people…

    …sitting for an evening worried that the current venture in Iraq isn’t progressing fast enough. Worried that somebody else’s kid might enlist and get killed over there. Worried that we’re spending too many tax dollars on the war. Worried that we may be over there for another one or…[gasp!]…two years. Concerned that the idiot on TV, that is cowering at Howie Mandel’s feet, might pick the $1,000,000 case out of the bevy of shapely young spokesmodels…

    Yet, the truth of it is this: We have forgotten what it means to sacrifice. We have forgotten what it means to truly do without. We have forgotten what it means to be hungry. And the resulting lack of perspective has left us ripe for conquering by those who can remember such things. It happened to the Athenians, the Romans, and the English.

    So, what shall we do? Where do we regain that perspective of privation of years past? Do we shed the trappings of the elite, where each family is assured of a home, heat, food, and a dry place to sleep? Can we expect the masses to shed their dependency of comfort? Can we ask our children to suffer, simply because it will, indeed, build character?

    No, we are past that. We are at a point in history where a child can get expelled in school for fighting. Physical violence has been deemed anti-social and any who display the tendency are immediately ostrasized from the herd. And thus the herd grows weak. Because of the lack of trial. Because no displays of physical courage are allowed. Because men are now made by people who were not willing to take a punch from anyone, for anything, no matter how dire the situation.

    And we find ourselves dissatisfied by the lack of courage present in our society. We find ourselves longing for the days of our youths when we were willing to fight over a slight on our good name. We wish our sons had that sense of manly pride, that priceless sense of honor. We wish in vain.

    Fact is, our sons have been taken from us. Our daughters thrown under the expedient bus of political correctness, and multi-culturalism. We watched in silence as it happened, first in academia, then in the mass media, and finally in our children’s schools. And we are forced, like A Clockwork Orange, to watch helpless as our offspring are isolated and killed by peoples more determined than us, because we were too weak to stand up and teach them the right way to perceive happiness and fight for what they believed. They were shown that anger was wrong, and the lack of righteous anger will be their undoing. They were shown that violence was evil. And the inability to kill those who would take their freedom will be their undoing. They were told to tolerate all cultures and beliefs. And the inability to fight for what they believe in will be their undoing…

    And it all comes about by the decisions that we have made the past twenty years. And it all comes about by the selfishness and softness of a generation who has known no hardship. And it all comes about by the ignorance of the true soul of liberty.

    The soul of liberty is violence, and the willingness to do violence to any who may take it from ye. You must mistrust those who want to make you “safe”, because “relative safety” and “freedom” are diametric opposites.

    God willing, there will come a counter to the softness that has pervaded. The “Jackass” phenomenon is a misguided reflection of that entire concept. Boys kicking the shit out of each other is a time-honored concept borne of times when strength and courage were requirements for one to be recognized by the tribe as a Man in fact and title. Nowadays, a driver’s license is all that is required. So, we must raise our boys to be hard, irrespective of the tears that they may shed…for they will thank us later.

    “Rub some dirt on it, boy.”

    “Walk it off.”

    “That’s a GOOD scar there, son.”

    Bottom line is this: We must make up for the lack of our own society by remaking it to our own liking…one dude at a time. The problems that beset this nation are a result of fifty years of malaise and inattention. We must spend our time upon this earth in an attempt to right the ship, create strong, independent thinkers among our own progeny, and accepting nothing less than that same willingness to sacrifice from our very selves. Because the end game that we imagined when we watched “WarGames” with Matthew Broderick has come before us in the guise of a turban-wearing, Koran-quoting, Mohammedan fascist motherfucker who wants you, me, our wives, and our kids to perish from this earth tomorrow…because he believes it is God’s Will. These psychotic assholes will not get weaker in our lifetime, only stronger because of the inaction by the baby-boomer-worthless-fucking-idiots who have been running the country for the last nineteen years. And the only thing that will stand between those psychotic Mohammedan assholes and this Republic, here in about twenty years, is the ability of our sons to go and kill them. And the ability of our sons and daughters to make decisions regarding immigration. And the ability of our children to have the perspective to understand that the value of their individual liberty is in direct preportion to their willingness to sacrifice themselves in the name of that liberty.

    Only then, when we have taught these lessons to our children, made these sacrifices, taken into account the true price of our Republic, only then may we hold our oaths to be complete. That we have supported the Constitution, that we have defended it. That we well and faithfully executed the duties of the offices that we entered…no matter when.

    Only then, my friends, may we have peace.

    Viva Res Publica,

Bile XXXIX...the lost Bile

I was searching for some shit earlier, and found that, as I renumbered all the Bile, I had left one out...and probably one of my favorites. This is from December of 2006, and is something that I'm proud of:

  • It was 0600 as I boarded the plane. Laura did this on purpose, and it shows just how astonishingly competent that she truly is. I mean, come the fuck on. If she gets me a flight out of McLaren in Vegas at any time past 0900 and I’m either in a strip club or on the casino floor until 0400 night prior. This way, she KNOWS I’ll be in bed at the steamingly shitty hotel that I booked for myself by 2300 at the latest.

    The hotel. That’s a fucking chapter all of its own. It is an establishment known as The Wild West Gambling Hall. It’s off the strip, barely, and rightly so. It is cheaper than death and seedier than my prom date. I checked in about 2000 and was interested to see that the woman checking me: 1) was the reason for the weight capacity signs in elevators; and 2) had AT LEAST ten pieces of metal inserted into her head. Piercing, my ass, this lady had lost a fight with a fucking staple gun.

    Anywho, as I checked in, I asked the rotund pin-cushion where the closest place that I could find a bottle was. She directed me across the gambling floor to the sundries vendor. As I walked across the floor, I was laughing my ass off…OH MY GOD. Where in the fuck did they get these people from? Everyone in that joint, (and that is a PERFECT term for that place), was well past their warranty. HIGH MILEAGE. Truckers, young burnouts, druggies, inveterate gamblers with too much aggression and absolutely zero judgment, and dealers assigned by name to this place from Sauron himself. These fucking dealers made the ones at the Remo look like Mother Teresa. Most had degenerated to the point where they only existed in a spectral fashion and you could only see them if you looked to one side and picked up motion out of your periphery. I truly think it was like gamblers’ hell. Fuck up enough in the big casinos and they send you here. To make an incredibly long story short, I purchased a bottle and a six pack from a woman, A WOMAN, who was a spot-on match for Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstien, and went back to my room.

    [Twelve hours later] So there I was, on a plane bound for Washington D.C., by way of Baltimore/Washington International. I had a stop somewhere in-between that I can’t bring to mind, except for the fact that the bartender at the Chili’s airport bar wore a “Kerry/Edwards 2004” button on his apron, and that I can never go back there. But that’s not important. What is important is that it occurred to me right then, on the plane, as we entered the atmosphere at several hundred miles per hour on a Friday morning that I would not be expected to operate heavy equipment or a motor vehicle until sometime Sunday evening. Just then, on cue, the stewardess asked me if I would care for a beverage.

    “Yes,” I respond, “I’ll have a bloody Mary. Keep ‘em coming.”

    And while I suspected it at the time, this was the beginning of one of the most legendary benders of all time.

    For my Birthday, you see, Laura had purchased me air travel to D.C. in order to meet with a buncha former Marines, respected executives, and a few other friends of Michael C Cochran, male prostitute. The Group, which was formed by a number of officers from the finest Division in the Marine Corps back in the late 90’s (1st Marine Division, By God), was formerly known as SCAM-D (Southern California Association of Marines-Drunken…or some shit, I honestly can’t remember. And don’t fill up my inbox pissed about it either, we don’t even go by that name anymore anyhow.) This august body had met yearly for the past four or five years at such places as Vegas, New Orleans, Toronto (or Montreal…I can’t keep them straight. It’s Canada, so who the fuck cares.), and Chicago, in order to drink, have a respectable meal, and enjoy watching Eric Martin morph into a drunken pig. In 2003, they wandered into Chicago during the end of one of the few pennant races that the Cubby Bears have been in over the past 25 years. I was in Career level school (fat fucking good it did me) in Fort Sill, Oklahoma when Mike called me from Wrigley hours before the Cubs would clinch the NL Central for the first time since World War II, while I watched on television. I really wanted to attend one of this….things.

    So, this year Mike talked to the boss. Laura, happy at the prospect of having me around the house forever, decided to get me the fuck outta the house for the first time since I went on terminal leave and sent me to see St. Michael of Ann Arbor, et al.

    After the stewardess delivered the Bloody Mary to me at 0732 on Friday morning, I did not draw another sober breath for the next sixty hours. I did not put down my glass for the next 48 hours. I wandered through taxi cabs, shopping malls, city streets, and hotel lobbies with a drink in my hand. The only person to actually correct me was a young waitress in a sports bar in Old Town, and she just wanted me to order something from the bar. (After drinking the rest of the can of Bud Light that I was carrying, in a single draught, I politely apologized and asked for a Sam Adams.)

    The fact that I’m still alive, and not in jail or working in some kitchen is a tribute to Mike’s circumspection, Eric Martin’s guile, and my own skills at talking the Devil into setting himself on fire.

    But I’ll get to all that as we go. Tonight I want to personally thank the editorial board from the Los Angeles Times, because they sent me. The fuck Off.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, it ain’t the fucking destination, it’s the goddamn trip. Stand the fuck by.

    BILEVol. XXXIXAn Honest Appraisal and Counter-Insurgency

    1) “Somebody get Elanor Roosevelt’s biographer on the phone…” I was at the office the other day, checking out the editorial tripe pushed out like so much fecal discharge from the respected media sources, when something got my attention. The Los Angeles Times had actually done something intelligent for a change. They went to academia, you see, and asked various respected muck-a-mucks how they thought various historical individuals would handle the problem of Iraq. They asked these individuals who were smart about Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan to write 1000-1500 words on this topic. It was interesting, I will grant you that, and I don’t doubt the conclusions that those individuals drew. All entries were well thought out, logical, and realistic. I enjoyed reading these pieces.

    (I won’t put in a link here because I caught it on The Early Bird, which is a DoD news compendium and is accessible only through DoD validation. However, I encourage reading these pieces. Go to the Times online and check ‘em out.)

    But as “The Night Fox” said in Ocean’s Twelve: “I thought about that for like a really long time.” And the more I thought about it, the more pissed off I became. We see everyday in the media that we are losing this war in Iraq. Everyfuckingday. We hear and see and read everyday about what a travesty the Bush administration has been since the outset of hostilities. We’ve all heard the arguments: “The WMD was the false basis for initial hostilities”…”We should have concentrated on al Queda and left Sadaam alone”…”This is a quagmire that will hang around Bush’s neck like Vietnam has been hung about the neck of LBJ”…”GWB has gutted the constitution unlike any other war-time president before him”. I mean, for the love of Christ, Gerald Ford is telling the world that Bush shouldn’t be in Iraq, and that guy’s fucking dead. Enough already. STOP IT.

    It won’t play.

    Answer me a question real quick. When was the last time President Bush closed down a meeting of a State legislature anywhere in the country? Lincoln did it. In Maryland. In 1861.

    How ‘bout this: When was the last time we interred hundreds of thousands of Muslims in concentration camp under the justification that we couldn’t verify whether or not they were spies? FDR did it.

    Okay, when was the last time you heard someone arrested and sent to jail for ten years for “making a speech that obstructed recruiting” for military service? Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act of 1917 into law that had just that effect.

    Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, it’s just this: We are at war with a people who want to kill you, and me, and everyone we know, as soon as they can. They are called Islamofascists and they are out there, right fucking now, planning something that will result in the violent death of Americans somewhere. They don’t have the sexy Hitlerian mustaches, and they don’t occupy a position of power other than what our media grants them. They are criminals, no better or worse than drug dealers or street thugs, but by virtue of the popularity granted them by CNN and FoxNews and every other Goddamn media outlet, they are granted a status that has been amplified by many orders of magnitude. In light of what they have done in the past, however, and what they MIGHT be capable of now, their causes have been given de facto legitimacy. And what has this President done in response to this? Has he interred an entire demographic? Has any government, local or federal, arrested someone for obstructing the recruitment of those who might fight for the Republic? Fuck No.
We’re fighting a “light” war. Like light beer, it blows. We want the Mohammedan Fascists to die, but don’t wish to inconvenience anyone in the process. We demand success in Iraq, but we bitch and whine every time someone acts in an aggressive manner that results in unfortunate, but necessary, collateral casualties. Can any of you imagine Genghis Khan passing an order that forbids entry into a mosque in a country that he was invading? How ‘bout Abe Lincoln? That fuckin’ guy burned down an entire region of his own country to win a war, for the love of God. (“I want a crow that flies over the Shenandoah valley to bring his own rations”)
How ‘bout this, I was listening to that idiot fucking lawyer that FoxNews employs as a legal analyst the other day bitching about the fact that some Imam got thrown off a plane after vocally, and loudly, proclaiming al-Queda and bin-Laden as the saviors of Islam. In 1942, two large corn-fed individuals would’ve beaten that motherfucker within an inch of his life and been acquitted of it. Today, we hear from the conservatives in the media that throwing that ass-clown off a plane was unconstitutional. Whatthemotherfuck?

Think back to the national pulse on 12 September 2001. We wanted blood. We would not stand for the attack on our people, for the slaughtering of innocents, for the degradation of our Republic. No fucking way. What has happened since then? Are we asleep, again? Once, we had the courage of our convictions. Are those convictions any less worthy of our courage five years later? Three months after that attack, a man named Steven de Beste wrote a very good piece about the fact that our courage was commonly underestimated around the world, but they were wrong to think that we would lay down after 9/11:

“The historical pattern is that people who become comfortable also become complacent and decadent. It's happened many times in the past, and it's happened now in Europe. I think it was an easy mistake to assume it had also happened to us.
Indeed, since 9/11 there have been many in the world who have demonstrated that they still don't understand our national spirit, or understand that at the core we have not become European. In fact, when we began to demonstrate that fact, many tried to convince us we should, to no avail.”

Later in that same article, that I read hours after reading the Los Angeles Times pieces, I found this quote:

“About ten years ago I remember exchanging email with someone in New Zealand who made a comment to the effect that the US had once been willing to engage in serious war and to make real sacrifices to win, but no longer was because its people had changed. I responded, "Don't bet on it." I assured him rather coldly that we had not changed in that way, and that the fire and steel were still within us. I told him that if he had not seen any evidence of it recently, that was only because there wasn't anything going on we thought was that important. I told him that it took a great deal to rouse us and to cause us to commit to full-scale war. But if we were sufficiently provoked or if the issues were sufficiently important to us, we are just as willing to fight today as our predecessors had ever been in times past.”

Now, it seems to me that the only person in a position of leadership, who is in the public sector today, who continues to exemplify these hardened, realistic, strong characteristics is the very man who is in the position to fight this war. The current President of the United States, when compared with other war-time Presidents (to include his old man) is doing a fantastic job. Economically, we enjoy prosperity like no other nation in the world. (One in which the poorest among us must suffer with dial-up ISPs) Since 9/11, when was the last successful attack on American soil by the Mohammedan horde? In Iraq, we have lost fewer men than in any protracted war that we have ever fought. Like Jerry mentioned to me a minute ago, even when we pass 3000 killed in action, we will still be short, in the fourth year of this war (1,460 days) of the total casualties suffered IN ONE DAY on 6 June 1944. Is this war any less vital than that one? Is this cause not worthy of that sacrifice? I’ve tortured myself with the answer to that. I have come to the conclusion that this sacrifice is necessary. We have to stop these fuckers there, in Iraq, now. The alternative is that our word means nothing in the international community, and that we will forever be assailed by those who see no evidence that we are willing to act in a decisive manner to defend our own way of life. If we should shitcan this President and the ideals that he has professed since 2003, then we will never be trusted by anyone else…ever.

I will admit to doubting this course. Any who know me and have spoken with me about the domestic policy carried out by this administration knows that I have doubted it. I was wrong to have done so. We need to be more vigilant and more unaccepting of those who would have us crawling senselessly about the floor like a dog. We are in a fight, and we must continue that fight until we win. Because, if we quit, those who wish to destroy us will not, and we will just end up doing this again at the expense of something more dear than we wish to sacrifice. An Iraqi Democracy is optimal. Sadaam is dead and that is a check in the block. However, the need to kill Mohammedan Fascists is upon us, and we should never shrink from that challenge. Until they are all dead. Period.

2) “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic…” One other aspect of the Los Angeles Times editorials was the myopic treatment of this counter-insurgency. Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar both fought “small wars” in ways that we are forbidden from reproducing. They countenanced absolutely no resistance. When they found it, they killed any and all who were involved…and their families….and their communities…and anybody who knew them. There was no collateral damage estimate performed, they just fucking killed people. At some point, the people stopped resisting the inevitable.

Now, I’m not professing a widespread repeat of My Lai 4. The wanton destruction of innocents only inflames the populace in its resistance of our occupation. What I am advocating is that we stop treating the accidental death of every innocent Iraqi as an indictment of the failed policy of Donald fucking Rumsfeld. (People, get the word out today, the atrocities at Abu Gharib were the result of ineffective leadership at the prison, and were in no way reflective of the leadership of a guy in an office 10,000 miles away in Washington D.C.) Men with weapons, in close proximity to other men with weapons who wish to kill them, present a significant threat to anyone in the area. The fact of the matter is that the Marines in Iraq don’t want to kill any who don’t manifestly deserve it anymore than Amnesty International. True fact. Because they are the ones who have to suffer the secondary and tertiary effects of that incident. Specifically, no Battalion Commander is going into Iraq with the mindset that killing a bunch of non-combatants is a neutral position. They are judged by their ability to neutralize enemy activity, and they cannot do so by being so heavy handed that they run around killing innocents. So they will, by virtue of their job, do what needs to be done. Problem is, the Battalion Commander in Iraq is second guessed by so many people, for so many reasons, that we have, in effect, rendered him ineffective by half. He still has battlespace, and he’ll still do what he can to stabilize it, but the second-guessing that has taken place since 2004 for every tactical action, individual action, or decision made or missed has been oppressive to such an extreme that I cannot adequately express it. (Ask me sometimes why the Regimental commander must clear indirect fires and air strikes) Also, whether we like it or not, that DIRECTLY translates to the squad leader through his company commander. So what happens, in effect, is that each squad leader out there right fucking now is as worried about getting fired/arrested as he is worried about enemy action. True fucking fact. Our constant attention to the ten year old, hair-lipped, blind Iraqi kid killed in the air strike that also killed Zarqawi is not helping that young Sergeant.

It is a tragedy. I am sorry that it happens. I cannot give a shit.

To do so loses sight of one over-arching aspect of warfare: mission accomplishment. We have to get shit right in that country. This Nth degree of attention paid to every single fucking collateral casualty has resulted in not only reduced effectiveness by our forces, but is completely misunderstood by those whom we would shepard into the fucking light. I have read at least ten articles over the last eighteen months in which Iraqi leaders were damn near begging for us to be MORE aggressive. They understand force, they are our allies, they know what works with their countrymen, they are more concerned about killing the bad guys than they are worried about us harming innocents.

Great bit that ties in here. I have been treated, by virtue of my last boss, to innumerable lectures of past counter-insurgencies that stretched well past the point of me wishing stab myself in the eye-socket. After a while, some of it sunk in, and I realized something. Those most successful counter-insurgencies did not give a flying fuck who was harmed in the prosecution of the fight at-hand. Ashurbanipal worried about non-combatant casualties? Whatthefuckever.

We don’t need to go that far, but we need to go further than we are currently, and that is a direct function of the outrage that we show here, on the sidelines, when a wedding party gets smoked in the process of killing the better part of a hundred fuckers that are putting IEDs in on us. Everyone needs to trust the fact that the fucker that we spent the better part of 20 years training might actually know what the fuck he’s doing.

Another solution, my dear friends, lies within our very own history:

In the late 19th century, Texas was in the middle of what we call “sectarian violence” today. On the one side, you had people who had driven cattle a thousand miles over iffy terrain to market, using every means at their disposal to water and care for those cattle in the process for almost three generations. On the other side, you had people who bought and paid for their very own propertie (nod to Cartman) and wished to enclose that propertie, to include water sources, with barbed wire purchased and installed at great expense. So those who drove cattle would need the water and would cut any wire in their way to water. Those who put up the fences would defend their property. Violence ensued. People died in a ditch. Up comes a man in a dark coat with a badge. He’s a Texas Ranger sent to that area to quell the violence. He pulls the muck-a-mucks from both parties in and gives them a variation of the following speech:

“Look, I don’t give a good Goddamn who is right or who is wrong in this. I don’t care who started it. I don’t care who died yesterday, and what act is planned for tonight that will avenge that individual. THIS STOPS NOW. The next person involved in this dispute, who fires a round in anger, gets a bullet in the head. Right then, or as soon as I can contrive it. No Judge, no trial. Dead. Then, I’m gonna come get one of you, whichever side started it, and I’ll kill you. Quite possibly both of you. I don’t care if you didn’t order it. And I don’t care if someone acted without your authority. I will kill you anyway. Questions? No? Okay. Good evening, boys.”

This is the way. Aggressive. Decisive. Infuckingdescriminate. Leave the cultural shit to the FAO. This is what they respect. This is what they will obey. I’ve sat at the table with these assholes, and if I had the latitude to give the above speech, with a Marine Sniper behind me with an M40A1, and execute the “or else” clause when it all turned to shit, then 2/7’s AO in the city of Fallujah woulda been like Lubbock inside of a week.

If we do this theater wide, and make good on it, then shit will stop now.

One fuckin’ riot, one fuckin’ Ranger...


11 August 2008

Bile XLIX: Friendship Day Bile!

I found out earlier today that today is International Friendship Day. I'm fucking serious. Please allow me to quote the little placard that earlier today I found proclaiming this day :

"International Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of August worldwide. Friendship Day is an opportunity to remember the important contribution friends make in our lives and to let your friends know how much you value and appreciate their friendship."

[Please note, I realize it's the 10th, and last Sunday was the first one in August. I'm guessing it comes after the first full week. Work with me here.]

Well, seeing as how you who get this qualify as the closest thing I'll ever have to someone who will claim to at LEAST know me, much less call me friend, I guess this is just fuckin' perfect. Consider yourselves appropriately greeted/appreciated/acknowledged on this auspicious day.

And kiss my fuckin' ass.

Friends, it's like the olive in your martini, the rocks in your scotch, it's...

Volume XLIX
Immigration, the Nanny State, and a Return of Apathy

1) "Mi llamo es siete de ocho. Resistance if futile. Prepare to be assimilated..." This is getting tiresome. We've spent a couple of hundred years building a common identity. We've got a national character that is among the most distinguished on the planet. Unique. Unmistakable. We have built a republic after repelling a dictatorship. We have grown over the years to become the most powerful state that the world has ever seen. In the past, people flocked to our cities, hoping to become recognized as a native, hoping to share in the wealth, both fiscal and moral, that our republic had come to represent.

Then it all changed. Immigrants now flock to my republic looking for a handout. Unlike previous generations, however, they will not assimilate to the local culture. They maintain their often repugnant traditions. They make no effort to learn the language. They believe that their existence in the republic is supposed to merit the rest of us taking care of them, just because they travelled a couple of hundred miles, and crossed a fuckin' river. They take jobs that we will no longer debase ourselves to perform. Their children suffuse the educational system with mounting problems concerning communication, because no teacher can understand a word that comes outta their fuckin' mouth, much less frame information that will educate them in any appreciable way. These people have apparently reproduced so successfully in their homeland that it has become imperative that they seek greener pastures in my homeland.

Enough already, by God. I've had it. The state of Texas needs to pass a limit on the number of New Yorkers that are allowed to move into The Republic annually. Seriously. You can't swing a dead cat around three times in downtown Dallas without hitting a dozen or so city boys from Nueva York obsessed with finding a decent curb side parking spot, a loaf of marbled rye bread, and a coffee shop. The urban sprawl of New York city has apparently reached past the Red River.

Everything should have limits. Anything can be taken to an extreme. Aristotle taught us that. It's time to tell this like it is. Texas needs to put up border control checkpoints on both the Red River and the Sabine.

Quick, someone tell me. How many baseball games on ESPN, on Wednesday and Sunday nights since April, have featured teams that did not call New York home? Two. A Cubs/Cardinals game, and a Boston/Anaheim game. That's it.

The other day, I tuned into a Rangers game that was being played in The Ballpark At Arlington. It featured the loathed Yankees in opposition. Imagine my consternation when Jeter came to the plate amid thunderous applause. The one man who has witnessed the demise of the once-proud squad of the late 90's, who has caused the Rangers more pain than a team ERA over 5.00, and who calls Alex Rodriguez friend. This man was cheered at The Ballpark in Arlington.

That was when it hit me. We've pegged the fuckin' fun meter back home in Texas. Seriously, folks. Pretty soon we'll start electing people like Hillary and Mario Cuomo to positions of power, and we'll let those idiots implement stupid shit like rent control and gun control, and then we'll inherit all of that other silly liberal shit that has been adopted up north. All our football teams will start to lose with incredible regularity. (Yes, yes. I realize the Giants won the Bowl last year...but name one really good college football team from New York. Just one. Besides, how many New York High School Football programs have prompted the writing of a book, two movies, AND a television series? (Odessa Permian: "Friday Night Lights" and "Varsity Blues".) The prosecution rests.)

New York city is the stereotype of urbanization. And the urbanization of this culture is the main reason for it's undoing, people. People who don't live in close proximity to ten gazillion other people are actually more polite, they respect one another's property more, and are generally more in touch with their feral roots. The roots that keep a man in tune with what is important...his liberty and not his safety.

Hold on a minute. That might be where I wanted to go. Hold on just a second.

Safety v. Liberty...

Rural v. Urban...

It occured to me the other day, as I explained to my progeny-- who were momentarily sated at the dinner table after one of my fantastic meals-- that feral animals were cunning, tough, and adaptive enough to ensure their survival. Anyone who has hunted wild turkey can attest to this. They're incredibly savvy birds, given to honed instinct and an impressive tactical cunning. Whereas their domesticated cousins are as fantastically stupid and become fatally scared for little reason. My sainted mother loves to tell a story about when she was growing up, and there was a pen of domesticated turkeys on her father's farm. One Sunday morning, a fox came close to the pen, smelling easy prey. Before said predator could figure out a way into the pen, the turkeys inside flipped the fuck out and started running about madly. Several of those doomed creatures ran into the fence headlong, hard enough to kill themselves. That night, the new local preacher came to the Stiles' house for dinner. My sainted Grandmother prepared one of the aforementioned turkeys. Following a sumptuous repast that featured this kamikaze turkey, my uncle Dale (who was 10 years old at the time) pushed back from the table, rubbing his belly in satiation. "Momma," he said, "that turkey that the fox killed was very good..." The silence was deafening.

People, that is where we are headed. Think about what most urban folk would do in response to any threat, be it a man with a gun or a hurricane: "Oh my fucking God! Somebody call the police/government!"

Wrong answer. You're better taking care of yourself rather than relying on a master, and most people, who don't live near fifteen gajillion people, know this. A threatening man with a gun should be shot, by God, or at least pistol whipped. If a natural disaster should hit, you get out there and fix what must be fixed yourself, because John Law's got other shit to worry about.

A little-reported story back in 2005 was that the rural town of Beaumont, Texas (90 miles west of New Orleans) was hit by a Cat 5 hurricane roughly a month after Katrina hit New Orleans. Betcha didn't hear about that, didja? Know why? Because the vast majority of that rural folk had been preparing for that eventuality for years. They had stocks of canned food, boats, fresh water, you name it. Those feral animals took care of themselves and their neighbors. They refused to be victims. Men and Women without masters. Masters of the own destiny. Strong. Capable. Undaunted. The media, therefore, had no story. So you never heard about it.

Meanwhile, three years later, you see shit in the daily news about the people in New Orleans waiting for FEMA to settle up. Not a word from Beaumont. Nary a one.

Feral v. Domesticated.

Now, Texas doesn't have anything like a patent on feralism. By no means. I see it out here in the desert on a daily basis. It's in Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota, Tennessee...you name it. The true spirit of this nation is in its rurality. New Yorkers and other East Coasters can claim that they are the center of the universe, and those idiots waving to the camera on the street behind the Today show set will cause people to think so. But just so you and I know better, let's say it right here and right now. The spirit of this republic is not Boston, New York, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, or Chicago. It is Twentynine Palms, California, Andrews, Texas, DeQueen, Arkansas, and any other shitsplat town you can name. The people there are tough, self-sufficient, and ask for nothing from anyone. This used to be a concept that all men were familiar with, before half the Americans became domesticated and decided to trade their liberty for safety. They deserve neither.

When the bill of entropy comes paid...and it will...stay out of the major cities, people. New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago will be like Lord of the Flies. Those people ain't gotta clue.

2) "I've decided that you're too stupid to make decisions. Therefore, we will all act exactly the same..." Oh my fucking God. Check this shit out. I'll give ya a sec, as I pause to freshen my bourbon...

Ya ready?


People, in case you missed the news--oh, say, since 2003--we're nose to nose with a people who want to end our way of life. They want to kill you, and me, and every single fucking person we know. Dead. And your Secretary of the Navy is worried that I might burn a square or throw in a dip somewhere in proximity to an individual that might breathe and cause that person an early death sometime in the next fifty fucking years, due to that incidental contact.

Perspective time: I spent the majority of last week in uniform, helping Andy with controlling live fire ranges. While doing so, I breathed in copious amounts of HC smoke from smoke grenades that were used in training to obscure a simulated enemy position by Marines who were breaching an obstacle. I also breathed in fumes from a 50 lb. bangalore torpedo that breached an obstacle on Range 400. I've sucked down smoke from shots in Iraq that were as large as 75,000 lbs worth of Net Explosive Weight. Someone, anyone, please tell me how semi-daily exposure to my second-hand smoke is going to top that? Even better, explain to me how my smokeless tobacco is a threat to anybody in any respect? Someone, please, tell me how this is more dangerous than, say, a piece of lead out of the AK-74 of that Mohammedan who is shooting at Marines and Sailors right now, or the shrapnel from an artillery projectile buried on the side of the road that is ignited next to a Coalition patrol. You can't, because it isn't. And the moment of joy that is derived by that Marine and/or Sailor who is, admittedly, addicted to that nicotine, when he inhales the morning's first cigarette, or the momentary satisfaction from the buzz from that first dip of Copenhagen, outweighs your attempt to make me a better domesticated animal. You fuckin' asshole.

Besides, you're trying to be my Ma. Stop it. She smokes too, and will absolutely kick your fucking ass.

Next. You Nancy motherfuckers. We've given you the airplanes. We've given you every enclosed space in the ENTIRE state of California, and several other states/municipalities. Keep your nanny-state-worried hands off the out of doors. That shit belongs to US, by God. Note that passage in the link above, about "no smoking within 50 feet from building entrances". Fuck you. Does the smell of cigarettes bother you, sweetie? Then don't come out my door then, ya pussy. I could give a flying fuck at a rolling donut if you can smell my burning cigarette as you approach an exit. You'll live. Trust me.

This is another bit closely related to the above diatribe about feral v. domesticated. People, me burning a fucking square is not going to kill you...ever. The assholes who have decided that it will were paid 19 kazillion dollars by the anti-smoking lobby to decide that very conclusion. Beware of scientists who are funded by fascists with ginormous fucking checkbooks.

But as Tyler says "On a long enough time line, the life expectancy for everyone turns to zero." We can occupy our days and months worrying about the rat feces in our Campbell's soup, or the urine content in our Lobster Bisque, but all of that worrying is for naught. You live your life, you do what you gotta do, you die. Nothing in this world or the next will stop the fact that, when it's your time, you're gonna fuckin' die. Nothing. Not your relative consumption of cholesterol, nicotine, radium, or Carbon Monoxide. You're still gonna fuckin' die. I've heard all of these arguments about responsible consumption. Fuck you and everyone who resembles you. My personal satisfaction with the fact that, right now as I'm typing this, I'm smoking a Camel Light and drinking a shot of Basil Hayden's Bourbon with a Sam Adams behind him, while you're in bed at 2251 on a Sunday following a meal of tofu with soybean curd and a light salad with no dressing, cannot be overstated. I will live a satisfying life. You and I will die at approximately the same time, with your asshole so tight that it could fuse sub-atomic particles, while I loose this mortal coil with a smile on my fuckin' face.

I've got a moving 25 ft. "Authorized Smoking Section" sign that follows me everywhere I go. If you don't like it, don't come and see me. I'll survive the disappointment. Trust me.

3) "This guy is rude and uncouth!" No shit, sweetheart. There is a reason why they call me "Unclean". The following is a brief compendium of shit that is but worthless weight on the train of society, that I could not care less about, if you were to set me on fire and force me to watch...

--The Dust Pollution in Yucca Valley, CA. Sarah heard this on the radio earlier and came bouncing into the kitchen a couple of hours ago laughing at the absurdity. Folks, Sarah is 14. She heard that Yucca Valley, CA is concerned about the air pollution resulting from aerated dust that results from people driving on dirt roads. They have, apparently, made billboards admonishing folks to slow down as they move around on dirt roads in order to keep air pollution under control.

As Sarah pointed out. "Dad, it's DIRT"
As I said at the very same time, "It's fucking DIRT"

My friends, could one of you please call me and explain just why in the blue fuck should I worry that the air may be polluted with...dirt? I remain unconcerned. Enough so that I went four-wheeling in Sean's truck down Morongo Road today, as I went on-base to get groceries...

--The 2008 Summer Olympics sob stories. Look, I'm in awe of these athletes. They have come through hell and back to even be considered for the competitions that they have entered. That fact is enough, by God. I don't need a twenty minute diatribe about the fact that each and every one of them had to overcome poverty/sexual assault/drunk driving/appendix cancer/asthma/drug addiction/dead relatives. I just hope that they achieve the excellence that they've hoped for. Life is life, people. It is often hard, and we've all got our own rancorous stories of heartbreak and defeat. Every single athlete that is/has competed in this Olympiad has made an adult decision to do so, despite or in contravention to whatever might be in their best long-term best interests. I applaud each and every one of them...categorically. Please stop telling me about their dead pets and ailing aunts...thank you.

4) Epilogue. If anyone wishes to reach me, I can be found between "what the fuck?" and "Jesus, who comes up with this shit?" at TTECG, training these battalions to go and fight. In the evenings, I type this shit. While I will never say "No" to an Exercise Force, I will inevitably deride that operations officer with a layer of sarcasm. Sorry, I gotta be me.

So good to see you once again

I thought that you were hiding from me.

And you thought that I had run away.

Chasing a trail of smoke and reason.

Prying open my third eye