Friday, April 01, 2016

Down and Out in Schofield Barracks

A friend of mine put this up on her Facebook feed with the observation "This is a good point":

I see some variation of this stuff from time to time and usually just snort and move on. I have no idea why it pissed me off so much this time. Maybe it's that the Portland coppers are in the process of chasing our local homeless people out from under the Steel Bridge, one more round in the endless "We aren't willing to spend money to try and figure out a solution but we're fine with spending money to kick the problem-can down the road again" game we play here in the Land of the Free to Steal Bread and Sleep Under Bridges.

Maybe it was reading Jim Wright's terrific column discussing the whole nonsensical yet fucking insanely irritating obsession of the roughly-one-third-of-my-fellow-citizens who think of all taxes as theft...unless they're going to pay for killing people and breaking shit in which case, hooah!, America, fuck yeah!

But whatever the reason, it really, really pissed me off.

First, because it's a straight-out, brass-faced, fell-off-the-back-of-the-crapwagon bullshit lie.

Because the poor sad little broke GI or Marine (I add "Marine" because that the person that originally posted this thing has some sort of "jarhead 4 jarhead" header) doesn't "just" get paid $8.85 an hour.

Snuffy and Chesty also get free medical and dental care, free housing, and free meals. That's huge. Like, tens of thousands of dollars a year huge. and that's not all.

The poor little fellow's work clothes are paid for. He walks to work, so he doesn't have to have pay for a car, or gas, or insurance unless he wants to. He gets two weeks paid vacation a year and can spend it paying Motel 6 rates at Fort DeRussey at Waikiki Beach of he wants to fly there. And she doesn't even have to pay more then ten bucks for her vacation travel, either, if she flies space-A, a privilege kinda out of reach of Burger McFlipperson.

Poor little underpaid Joe and Molly are also working towards a guaranteed 50% base pay retirement after only 20 years service (meaning an 18-year-old private is only 38 at retirement) when he or she gets a huge veterans preferment for almost every civil service job.

If he makes 30 years he gets 75% of what is a pretty sweet top-three-grade pay and allowances.

Not to mention the fact that most American troops aren't ragged dog faces out in the tules, but truck drivers, IT techs, wing wipers and sailors who sleep in a bed and go to work in an office.

Plus everybody thanks his GI and Marine ass for their "freedoms" even though the last time an American soldier killed anyone for "freedom" was in 1945.

And second and last, this little screed pisses me off as a sad attempt to belittle the working poor, who have it way worse than 99% of the folks who wear a uniform, and that's coming from someone who wore one for 22 years.

This goes back to Jim's point about the nonsensical notion that paying taxes for tanks and aircraft carriers is a "public good" but paying taxes to help prevent a critical mass of your fellow citizens living in poverty and sickness and ignorance isn't. That somehow nations with lots of weapons are "healthy" and "strong"" even though they may be riven with social dysfunction from fostering a permanent underclass and a poorly educated, unhealthy, credulous citizenry.

That's nonsense, of course. Not that I'd expect a "conservative" to see that. But nonsense all the same.

Hey, I love GIs, too. But a lot of those GIs are gonna get out and find that they're going to have to try and make ends meet flipping burgers or making beds or stocking shelves and trying to do that while paying for their food and clothing and rent and aspirins, so being a dick about how poor people should be poor? That's...well, that's just being a dick.

So. As far as I can see the only "good point" this damn screed makes is the one that every GI figured out long ago;

If you crossbreed a "conservative" with a gorilla what you get you get is a retarded gorilla.

Ha! And you thought I was going to make that joke about Marines, didn't you.

April Fool.


Dane900 said...

Thank you for making this point. I always think Brecher's line about the military being a socialist paradise with free medical care and all the education you can handle. Calling the military machine out for the socialist construct it is would tie a few conservatives in knots, wouldn't it?

Jim Wright said...

Thanks for the shoutout, I appreciate it

//Jim Wright/Stonekettle Station