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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Riffing on Mail Call: What About Veterans Day? Edition 
Monday, November 16th, 2009 | 08:51 pm [barack obama, commentary, hagerstown, mail call, politics]
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I had hoped to be able to do a Mail Call article today responding to local nuts voicing their carefully cultivated outrage over Attorney General Holder’s announcement on Friday that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other 9/11 conspirators will be tried in civilian court in New York City. But apparently the interns in charge of typing up the Mail Call section of the Herald-Mail haven’t gotten that far yet. They’re still wading through all the calls about Veterans Day. So be it. I’m game for that, too.

The following excerpts come from the November 13, 14, and 16 editions of Mail Call.

“I think for all we owe our veterans, it would be a wonderful thing if the old Washington County Hospital could become a veterans hospital.” – Hagerstown

Turning the old hospital into a VA hospital after the new one opens is a good idea, but Jesus Christ, have you been to Washington County Hospital lately? Clara Barton would be appalled at the facilities. A few years ago my girlfriend’s father — a veteran, as it so happens — had a heart attack. He survived, and he’s fine now, practically back to normal except for a few minor changes to the old routine and a slightly altered diet. Of course, he was helicoptered to the hospital in Chambersburg . . . Just imagine how relieved he must have been when he regained consciousness someplace besides Washington County Hospital. If they’re going to make that place into a veteran’s hospital, it’ll need some work. And they’ll need to seriously raise their hiring standards, because the impression I get is that most of the staff is there because nowhere else called them back. Our veterans deserve better than that, surely.

“We agree. Don’t tear the hospital down. Use it for a senior center or VA center. And the emergency room area is already set up for a trauma center.” – Huyetts

Hey, great, two votes already for turning the old hospital into a veterans . . . wait, “already set up for a trauma center”? Will we be treating the veterans straight from the battlefield? Because I don’t think that’s such a great plan.

I agree, too, that we should celebrate Veterans Day, meaning have the children in the Washington County schools have that day off. That’s a holiday where we should remember the people that served in any war, the men and women who suffered and died for us. We need to remember them and remember the holidays, too, in general. But yes, Veterans Day is an important holiday and they need to rethink that and have that day off instead of . . . they should consider having Veterans Day off instead of these other non-important days that these kids are getting off of school for.” – Hagerstown

Absolutely, because having off for Labor Day and Memorial Day has certainly deepened our understanding of their original purposes, hasn’t it? Why not make Veterans Day really mean something, and make that the day Santa Claus arrives at the mall?

“I was in church on Sunday listening to the sermon and was thinking how far we, as a nation, have strayed from our original path. We were a country who cared about life and liberty and happiness. We once cared about the tired and the poor. Now, we care only about ourselves. And when our leaders try to once again care for the tired, the poor and those less fortunate, we cry socialism, communism, big government.” – Williamsport

Life, liberty and happiness? Where’re you getting this shit? Our country was founded on ruthless free market capitalism and born-again Christianity! Go back to Canada, you fucking hippie statist.

“I’d like to know in your Mail Call how come you never mention the Korean War. I know it was Cold War, it was called the forgotten war, but how about reminding the people of the people that served in that Korean War and that died? Fifty-two thousand-some died there.” – Hagerstown

My Pap served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, so I sympathize. But what do you expect, that the paper should publish random notices about the Korean War every so often just to remind people that it happened? Maybe just a headline on the front page every so often. The banner could read something like “County Jobless Rate Climbs to 12%,” and just below that on the sidebar, “Korean War Occurred, 1950-1953.”

Actually, the Herald-Mail is such a pitiful joke of a paper, the occasional random Korean War reminder wouldn’t seem that out of place. I’m warming to the idea.

Let’s take a breather from the Veterans Day calls and cool down with a bracing splash of anti-Obama rhetoric.

“To the Martinsburg caller who says we need to ‘give Obama a chance – he’s only been in office 10 months.’ Hello, it’s not the amount of time he’s been in office that matters. It’s what he’s done during that time. And Obama, in those 10 months, has set this country on a terribly destructive course in many areas. You obviously know little about what's really going on. Just like Obama, you insist on blaming others who no longer have any power and have nothing to do with Obama’s policies. That excuse is as phony as Obama himself, and it just doesn’t work anymore.” – Hagerstown

I agree, it’s not the time in office; it’s what he’s done that matters. So tell me, what has Obama done that’s so horrible? Seriously, drop the Mark Levin impersonation and give me some specifics. Are your federal taxes any higher? Did you lose your job because your company had to absorb some massive government fine? Are you pissed because you’re in the military and you haven’t been shipped out to Afghanistan like you were hoping you would be? Because here’s the thing: a lot of people on the left are pissed at this president for not doing nearly enough during these last ten months. According to them, he hasn’t even started to bring about the sweeping change he promised during the campaign. But according to you, he’s set us on “a terribly destructive course.” Maybe you actually believe that, maybe not. I’d enjoy seeing some evidence to justify all the spittle being thrown, that’s all.

“I want to say I agree with the caller who said that Obama should be impeached, him and all his cronies, before they totally destroy this country. If that doesn't work, how about voter recall?” - Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Voter recall isn’t an option because the mechanism does not exist for a popular recall of the President of the United States. All you guys who whipped into a froth about Obama destroying the country, have you even read the Constitution? You all seem awfully fond of it, but you don’t seem to know much about what it actually says. You should pick it up some time. There’s some crazy shit in there.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

“I’d like to comment on the quote that someone put in there about why we’re not - we are celebrating Veterans Day, but not having kids off. This is totally ridiculous. We make sure that a holiday known as New Year’s Day, which means absolutely nothing in the scheme of anything, we have our kids off, yet Veterans Day, where we have a chance to do a memorial to those who have served and we don't have the kids off, what an atrocity.” – Hagerstown

Didn’t we cover this already? Giving the kids the day off of school does nothing to ensure the reverent observance of a supposedly serious holiday. And why do we want the kids off for Veterans Day, anyway? Where I went to high school, we had an assembly every Veterans Day. Mr. Hutson (my girlfriend’s aforementioned father) read “In Flanders Fields,” and a member of the local Legion post or some other crusty old vet would come in and give us a speech, and there would be a slideshow honoring veterans from our town who served during major conflicts. It was all very respectful and appropriate to the spirit of the day, and none of us would have been anywhere near it if we hadn’t been in school that day. The answer to your gripe isn’t to give the kids the day off (To do what, take a pilgrimage to the WWII memorial in D.C.? That’ll happen . . .), but to encourage more schools to have such Veterans Day programs to educate people on the purpose of the day. So go fuck yourself.

“I think . . . the schools can’t even close down for Veterans Day. They can’t even recognize that for a holiday. That’s just pretty darn bad. The county can’t be that hard up.” – Sharpsburg

Oh, for fuck’s sake — get over it! Next!

“If we really want to honor our veterans, all men should take their hats off upon entering a building. No better way than to honor our veterans and the people who have served our country is remove your hat as a sign of respect.” – Hagerstown

This is just bizarre. How is taking my hat off inside a building a show of respect to veterans? Who decided that? Why isn’t, say, bending over to pull up my socks considered a sign of respect to veterans? And why is it only men are expected to remove their hats? What about women? Shouldn’t they be required to perform some bullshit arbitrary act of etiquette to show their respect?

How about we show our respect to veterans by giving them better health benefits and paying them more while they’re in active service? And how about you kiss my hat-sporting ass?

Christ, I’m disagreeable today . . .

“I’m a veteran. What they should do is empty out the prisons, and all these young guys hanging on the streets, and send them to Afghanistan. They’re not doing any good on the streets where they’re at now. All the prisoners and people that’s unemployed and stuff, roaming the streets, send them to Afghanistan. Let them fight the war.” – Hagerstown

That’s The Dirty Dozen you’re describing, not real life. Do you really want us to empty out the prisons and send all those gang-bangers and drug dealers over to fight the war? Shit, those guys are only a fraction of the total prison population. Most of the all-convict army would be non-violent offenders. You really want to replace the mighty United States military with a squad of tax cheats and embezzlers? Use your head.

That Lee Marvin, though. He was somethin’, wasn’t he?
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