Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The American Dream in Montello?...The Great Escape??

Last night while watching a news channel, I saw something like unto the following scroll across the bottom of the screen..."Obama's budget allocates 192 BILLION to fund wars". I've tried to take a couple week hiatus from all things political so I could feel what it is like to experience bliss from ignorance. I should have left the T.V. worked for the last two weeks!

What does 192 billion mean? If you divide it by 365 it means $526,027,397 is likely to be spent per day to fund wars. Divide that by 24 and it means $21,917,808 million will be spent per hour. Further division suggests $365,297 per minute and $6,088 per second to fund war.

I'm not taking sides on the issue of war, I'm just trying to understand what a billion means. Take your cause, whatever it is or isn't and do the division on the cost of that cause. What are we talking about here? This is so far beyond my ability to comprehend that my mind starts to swim when I break it down in hopes of understanding it?

I do view Montello as an escape from many, many things, including 192 billion for war....whatever either of those things mean? In reality, I know it isn't a true escape, but it sure feels like a place where I can do better at being ignorant by removing myself from most of the stimuli in my current surroundings. If you care for comedy, old men, and can appreciate an honest (but who knows how true) perspective, then check out George Carlin on youtube discussing the "American Dream."

Another Carlin clip that makes you think about our politicians....and us....meaning you, me, and we.

One last thought on war. I suppose plenty of people have gotten their asses kicked over time who justly deserve it. And, I suppose there are a few innocents who woke up bloody or didn't wake up at all and the aggressor later realized his motivations were flawed. Personally, I haven't been to war, but I have been in a few fights. Some justified, others not so much, but I went and did the dirty work. I didn't ask someone else to go into the trenches for me. Thus, I would propose a suggestion, even a checks and balances, to determine with absolution the legitimacy of war, resulting in a solid justification for its associated costs and perhaps even an understand of what a billion means.

Those politicians who vote for war, INCLUDING and ESPECIALLY the President, should be the first ones to step off the boat with their boots on the ground and an M-16 in hand...leading from the front, not Washington! Don't worry, I've already worked out the logistics of leadership vacancies after losing all those "good" men in Washington. The vice-president will serve as president until the president returns from war with ALL of his soldiers. All of the politicians who so bravely go and fight for their convictions will have their seats in Congress temporarily filled by the runner up in their last election. Surely the runners up are willing to accept the job and are at least marginally qualified. End of story! And, I'm guessing end of war and at least a reduction in the number of times I have to do math with so many zeros!

I got into rock climbing during college and would routinely rappel over shear cliffs 150 feet high. Needless to say, the pucker factor on those descents was extremely high, but my buddies and I loved it. Some of them would volunteer to tie off the ropes to the anchoring points on top of the mountain. I always encouraged them to do so, but quickly followed that encouragement with the disclaimer that they would be the first one to go over the edge, as I was when I tied the ropes. Like the call to war, a simple checks and balances to determine who is willing to walk the talk.

Enjoy Carlin. There isn't much he produced that I can't understand where he is coming from. Crude? Yes. Honest? Yes. True? Depends on whose tying the knots and whose going over the cliff first. It's amazing the clarity and resolve that comes with anything when it's your ass on the line and the costs are life altering, perhaps even threatening. I'll see you in Montello and if you're up to it we'll look around for some shear walls. I bet Carlin will be there too.


  1. Hmm Preston, That's to scarewy...

  2. Auggie, that's what the pic at the top is for. Whenever it all becomes too much (scarewy) just scroll up to once again find your happy place.

  3. A yes she's been an American dream of mine for a long time. Cute Scotch Iranian mix. Anyhow just keep the TV off. Nothing worth your time on. I know a hurricane is coming when I see everyone suddenly trying to prepare. Something they should have had resolved way back. And the budget? That's just a bigger joke. These comedian have basically given every person in this country a 30 year mortgage. Babies are born owing. And we thought medieval serfs had it bad. The country is being run like a criminal organization. Yes places like Montello can offer some escape, by letting a person live with just enough to get by but not be subject to taxes.or other silly controls.