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You're Just Too Nice

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I was 18 years old, I had just turned 18, the Vietnam War was over and the draft had ended. I was out of work and homeless sleeping on couches, so I went down to the military recruiters office and was met with a most jovial fellow. A sergeant in the Army but man, what a great guy, my shoulder length hair didn’t bother him at all. He wasn’t concerned that I hadn’t finished high school in fact he promised to help me finish.

 

I had some how apparently gotten the wrong idea about the army, all those Van Johnson world war two movies were all wrong. Even John Wayne was wrong, according to the recruiter the army was more of a social club, sure I had to cut my hair and wear a uniform but after that it was going to be good times and good friends. I would learn a trade and go to college have the time of my life and get paid for it.

 

I was 18 and dumb as a post but even still I could tell I was being sold the proverbial pig in a poke. Here I was a dumb shlub and this guy’s treating me like a top football prospect visiting Ohio State. So I asked, “If it’s all fun and games who guards the missile silo’s in Montana in January? And what beach do the guys guarding the North Korean border swim at?” I admit it, I was trying to scratch through his veneer but his smile never dipped.

 

“Dave,” he said, “The Army is what you make of it and everyone is different. Maybe they want to get into officer candidate school or maybe you just want to do your job and coast along but the challenges you face are up to you.”

 

I asked for 24 hours to think it over, I left with all the paperwork filled out and even a free army pen all that was required was my signature on the bottom line. But I just couldn’t do it, not that I wasn’t patriotic or was too frightened but because that guy was just too damn nice. He was like a used car salesman who kept telling you what a great deal you were getting, his insistence made you certain that you were about to get screwed.

 

If I had walked in and that sergeant had said, “Sit down, thinking about joining up? Well four years from today you might say this is the best decision I ever made or the worst decision I ever made. Cause we will run the baby fat off of you, you’ll sweat out your Mama’s cup cakes and puke up your childish dreams. Sure we’ll help you go to school but you’ll have to work for it. If you want to make it in the Army you’ll have to put up with more crap than a Tijuana public bathroom.

 

Enter the thing that won’t go away the zombie immigration reform bill. A smiling George Bush says, “This is a good bill don’t be a racist come on support it! My good pal Ted Kennedy supports it.” I’m smelling army recruiter here, why is the Democratically controlled house and Senate are so interested in helping the President?

 

Last week the immigration reform bill was dead, murdered by defections from the Presidents own party. Harry Reid added the toe tag saying it would not be considered again during the session but the President returning from his Timex triumph in Albania says, “I think it will hide and watch.” Within 48 hours there it is again a New! Improved! Immigration reform bill. Hillary likes it, John McCain doesn’t. Many are on the fence saying well we’ve got to do something and even though this bill isn’t perfect… “You’re getting a swell deal on her Mr. And Mrs. America and I know she’s not perfect but you’re getting a such a great deal!”

 

First, why is the Congress acting on the agenda of a lame duck President? Why is it acting so quickly seeing as how it took them a hundred days to work out a compromise to increase the minimum wage? Why are they working on the Presidents agenda at all! This President has dragged his feet obstructed justice sent his Alzheimer’s suffering attorney general to the hill to dispense bull sh*t under oath and yet this Congress can’t wait to help him out.

 

I will be the first to admit I am stridently partisan on this issue, if the President doesn’t care about his own people in New Orleans what makes you think he give a damn about Mexicans? This is about a cheap labor force for American corporations that’s all except for perhaps maybe fulfilling the Republican wet dream of destroying Social Security.

 

I double dog dare you to show me anything George W. Bush has ever done whose primary beneficiaries don’t own summer homes. If George W. Bush says it’s about race then it’s not about race if George W. Bush says it’s about being fair then it’s not about being fair.

 

The last time George Bush and Ted Kennedy worked together was on no child left behind and Kennedy later lamented he was misled. So what, should we believe this time? That it’s wise to follow the man who you said mislead you last time? Or should we trust that same man whose name has become almost synonymous with lying?

 24 hours mind you, after the President finished backslapping and praising the bipartisan effort he announces in his Saturday radio address, "The American people do not want to return to the days of tax-and-spend policies." Apparently we the people are happy enough with Bush’s policy of spend and spend, the President now threatens to veto the $37 billion dollar budget for homeland security.  

The bill which budgets money to hire 3000 border control agents, improve explosive detection at airports and provides money to double the amount of cargo screened on passenger aircraft busts his budget targets by $2.1 billion. Or the same amount it cost the President to run the Iraq war for thirty days, funding for which he just asked for last month and received $23.1 billion or ten times the amount that is now being called tax and spend policies.

 

Are the Democrats suckered again? Or perhaps they are just not trying that hard? Maybe they are taking money from the same lobbies that back the President. What was the point of electing a Democratic majority if they still do the Presidents bidding? And they wonder why their approval rating is in the tank, well it’s one thing to be a dumb ass but how stupid do you have to be to be fooled by one over and over.

 

The immigration reform bill like all legislation Bush proposes calls for the American public to just trust him, but once it’s passed then it’s just too late just like NAFTA and GATT. Gang members must promise to be nice and corporations must promise that they couldn’t find an American to do the job before they hire an alien at that new lower salary. We won’t have any background checks because we trust every one. And to all the immigrants who have waited in line and filled out paper work and waited on waiting lists for years you don’t mind if we let 12 to 20 million go ahead of you do you?

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I was born and raised in Chicago in a liberal Democratic home my Grandfather was a labor union organizer my Father a Democratic district committeeman my Mother was an election judge. My earliest memories were of passing out Kennedy yard signs from (more...)
 
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