Robert's Virtual Soapbox

(or, The Sanctimonious Professional Leftist's Blog)
FEBRUARY 12, 2013 7:49PM

2013: The stupid white man’s last stand?

Rate: 5 Flag

Hopefully the Bad-and-Scary Santa Pope (pictured above) will be replaced with a Cute-and-Cuddly Santa Pope who is not European. In the meantime, I take Pope Palpatine’s rare resignation — the first resignation of a pope in about 600 years — as a great fucking birthday gift.

The examples of the continuing downfall of the stupid white man are so numerous that this piece should write itself.

Let’s see. Where to begin?

We still have stupid white men John McCainosaurus and Lindsey Graham, both U.S. senators with the Repugnican Tea Party, still yelling about “Benghazigate” when no one is listening.

Stupid white man Mittens Romney had tried to make “Benghazigate” a Big Fucking Issue during the second presidential debate, but moderator Candy Crawley slapped him down like the bitch that he is, and Barack Obama went on to win re-election nonetheless, 51 percent to Mittens’ incredibly ironic 47 percent.

Perhaps especially after the Repugnican traitors got off scot-fucking-free from the thousands of preventable American deaths on September 11, 2001, and the thousands of preventable American deaths in the illegal, immoral, unprovoked, unjust and wholly bogus Vietraq War that used 9/11 (and not, say, war profiteering and Big-Oil profiteering) as its main pretext, Americans just weren’t in the mood to spank the Obama administration too hard over the deaths of four Americans, which is a much, much, much, much, much lower body count than we saw during the eight-year reign of the unelected Bush regime (in which I would include the almost 2,000 Americans who unnecessarily were killed by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005).

The last that I heard, the miserable closet case (or, as they say, “confirmed bachelor”) Lindsey Graham was promising to hold up the nomination of Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the new secretary of defense. Graham seems undaunted by the fact that he virtually is alone in this little crusade, with the possible exception of McCainosaurus.

I’m not big on Hagel — as I have noted, it sickens me that so many so-called Democratic presidents fairly routinely have picked Repugnicans as their defense secretaries, when not once in the history of the nation has a Repugnican president ever picked a Democrat as his defense secretary (“bipartisanship,” you see, means that the Dems cave in all the fucking time but that the Repugs never give a fucking millimeter) – but who the fuck is Lindsey Graham to try to play president?

In his last election, in 2008, Graham, who hails from the 24th most populous state, South Carolina (which has a population of not even 5 million), received just over 1 million votes. In that same November 2008 election, Obama garnered more than 69 million votes (and he was re-elected with just under 66 million votes).

I get it that South Carolina was the first backasswards red state to secede from the Union, and so that it politically helps the white supremacist Graham with his white-supremacist constituency for him to be taking on the nation’s first black president, but the clear majority of Americans elected Barack Obama, not the bitter pansy Lindsey Fucking Graham, to be commander in chief.

Treasonous chickenhawk pipsqueak Lindsey Graham needs to sit down and shut the fuck up, unless it’s to come out of the closet already and to apologize to the nation for his having afflicted us with his sorry pansy ass.

Then there is President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight — which stupid white man Ted Nugent is to attend as the guest of a stupid-white-male (of course) Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representative from Texas (of course), as a middle finger extended to Barack Obama and to anyone else who opposes massacres perpetrated by lunatics (usually stupid white men who are card-carrying members of the NRA) with assault rifles in public spaces, because there is no doubt that the “freedom” to kill as many innocent people as possible at one time surely is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Second Amendment.

The vile, washed-up piece of shit, white-trash traitor and gun nut Nugent has made many thinly veiled references to President Obama and other political opponents of his treasonous Repugnican Tea Party being shot — it’s the “tea party’s” “Second-Amendment remedies” for when things don’t go their way at the ballot box, you see — yet some stupid-white-male U.S. representative from Texas thought that it was a classy thing to invite Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address.

Way to reinvent the party that long has been alienating the majority of us Americans, yes — to bring to the State of the Union the guy who has made thinly veiled threats about President Obama and other Democratic elected officials being assassinated?

Then there is the uber-cheesy “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl ad for the Dodge Ram that the wingnuts relished because it pretended that we still live in the 19fucking50s — or before.

It must be said that dead right-wing radio show host Paul Harvey – who was the Thomas Kinkade of the radio, painting tacky, sappy, gauzy portraits of a time in the United States of America that probably never existed at all but that certainly no longer exists now — gave his “So God Made a Farmer” speech at a Future Farmers of America convention in 1978. So that’s already more than 30 years ago. But wait, there’s more — he based his 1978 speech on a piece that he’d written for a newspaper in 1975, and it gets even better: Apparently the piece that Harvey wrote in 1975 was ripped off from a letter to the editor of a newspaper from 19fucking40 – more than 70 fucking years ago.

Don’t get me wrong — to the extent that we even have any independent farmers left, I’m sure that many if not even most of them are hard-working, decent individuals, as Dodge’s nauseatingly misleading and manipulative ad alleges. However, surely not every farmer’s son wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, as the ad also alleges, and surely there have been many who have found farm life to be fucking miserable.

And are we really to single out only certain professions as being valuable — the right-wing, macho professions, usually, such as farmers, firefighters, cops and members of the military – and others (the traditionally female-dominated professions, such as nursing and teaching, perhaps especially) as not?

And how can we simply overlook the fact that Big Agriculture, which has enjoyed the full support of the big-corporation-loving Repugnican Party, has killed the independent/family farmer? How can we pretend that we’re still a nation of farmers? What the fuck?’s parody of the God-awful “So God Made a Farmer” ad is probably the best response to the ad that’s out there. It’s called “So God Made a Factory Farmer,” and it gives a much more truthful overview of what farming is about today and ends with the fitting tagline, “Here’s to shameless heartland pandering.”

Speaking of the idea that members of certain professions are to be worshipped, how about “the Shooter”?

“The Shooter” is the apparent stupid white man who (reportedly, anyway) assassinated Osama bin Laden in May 2011 when he was a member of the Navy SEALS. (Reportedly his name isn’t being released because if it were, his life would be in jeopardy from Osama-loving revenge killers.)

“The Shooter,” who, I am guessing, is just another stupid white man who wants all of us to drop to our knees and suck his cock just because he was in the military — even though the military’s bloated-beyond-belief budget is bleeding our nation to death and is destroying us all, a la the militarily overextended ancient Roman empire – apparently has whined to Esquire magazine that although he left the Navy after only 16 years of service when he knew that 20 years was the requirement for him to receive a pension, he is being screwed because he won’t get his pension anyway.

I’m pretty sure that there was no clause in there that said that if you assassinate Osama bin Laden, you can decide on your own to leave the military four years early with impunity, yet this guy is calling himself a victim.

Why special treatment for this man? How would it be fair to his comrades to bend the rules for him?

My understanding is that the first Navy SEAL to encounter bin Laden in the compound in Pakistan was to take bin Laden out. It could have been another member of the SEALS team that did the deed had he encountered bin Laden first, I understand. It’s not like “the Shooter” was the Divinely Anointed One to Avenge Us for 9/11, was it?

That aside, I can’t imagine that the extralegal assassination of Osama bin Laden on another nation’s sovereign soil was allowed by international law anyway. “The Shooter,” in my book, acted illegally.

True, he was just a pawn, but so were the Nazi soldiers who were “just following orders.” We can’t allow that “excuse” for illegal actions. All of us are responsible as individuals when we break the law, whether we carry out the illegal action with our own hands or whether we order it from afar (yes, this makes Barack Obama criminally liable for the extralegal assassination of bin Laden, too, of course). We can’t try to hide behind some larger structure and disavow any personal responsibility for our own actions. Shit like that allows atrocities like the Holocaust and My Lai and Abu Ghraib to happen.

That aside, it’s the entitlement mentality of “the Shooter” that really rankles me. You hear so many current and former members of the military acting like all of us civilians owe them something, usually becuase they have protected our “freedoms.”

No, we don’t owe them anything — they get their paychecks and their benefits (unless they, oh, say, leave service four years too early); that is their pay, and we, the taxpayers, pay them – and looooong ago they stopped fighting for our “freedoms.” Now, they are just taxpayer-funded thugs who enable the plutocrats and their corporations to strong-arm other nations into handing over their natural resources over to the plutocratic and corporate profiteers.

Iraq, for instance, certainly never threatened any American’s freedoms, as it had had no fucking way to do so, but the Vietraq War sure was great for Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton’s no-bid federal contracts and for the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, including, of course, Big Oil, which when Saddam Hussein was in power was not in Iraq but which is in Iraq now, which tells you what the Vietraq War was all about — the “liberation” not of the Iraqis, of course, but of the oil under their feet.

Our soldiers don’t protect our interests — they protect the plutocrats’ interests, which the plutocrats propagandistically call “our” interests so that we don’t go after them with torches and pitchforks like we should.

Our soldiers actually are doing us more harm than good by allowing the military-industrial machine to keep on chugging and to keep on destroying the American empire, telling us that while we can afford an ever-growing military, we can’t afford to provide for basic human needs, such as adequate health care and decent schools. The military, which we pay for, just can’t afford us, you see.

And lo and behold, if the U.S. military slaughters and savages enough innocent civilians abroad, especially in the Middle East these days, it will create enough enemies, real and fabricated, to try to justify its continued existence. Nice gig, if you can get it -- to first create the threat or “threat” and then to claim that you are so vitally needed to deal with it.

Most U.S. military adventurism makes us Americans much less safe, not safer, by creating more animosity against the U.S. abroad.

Yet, again, these soldiers, most of them stupid white men, expect us to stop in the streets and give them head. They are special, they are exempt, they deserve our worship.

“The Shooter” not only left service four years too early, but, AFP notes, his talking to Esquire like he did was prohibited:

Soldiers and spies, whether retired or not, are required to submit manuscripts to the Pentagon for review to ensure no sensitive information is published. But the Esquire piece was not submitted to the department for vetting beforehand, a U.S. defense official said.

The Defense Department is now looking at the article to check if any classified material was divulged, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The Shooter” isn’t some poor, selfless soldier who, according to the sensationalistic cover of Esquire, is being “screwed.” He’s a selfish, self-promoting, rules-ignoring egomaniac who didn’t belong in the military in the first fucking place, along with hordes of other stupid white men who don’t belong in the military for the same reasons.

But there are glimmers of hope on the horizon.

Stunts like the Ted Nugent invitation usually backfire (think of Clint Eastwood talking to that empty chair at the last Repugnican Tea Party National Convention); “the Shooter” is more likely to be seen as the self-serving prick with an outsized sense of entitlement that he is rather than as the “screwed”-over hero that he’d like to portray himself as being; corporations probably will think twice before putting out more nauseating, right-wing, propagandistic, back-to-Mayberry-like ads like Dodge did; Chuck Hagel probably will get confirmed as secretary of defense, despite the attempts of white-supremacist red-state senators to hit at Obama via Hagel; and maybe one day soon Lindsey Graham will be busted like former Idaho U.S. Sen. Larry “Toe-Tappin’” Craig was for soliciting same-sex sex in a public restroom.

We have an actual date for the exit of one stupid white man from the world stage: February 28 is to be Pope Palpatine’s last day, which I consider to be a great fucking birthday gift. (My birthday is February 29, which I celebrate on February 28 and on March 1 three out of four years. [I don't lose three birthdays every four years -- I gain three birthdays every four years...])

Pope Palpatine is an example of the fact that the phenomenon of the stupid white man is not exclusive to the United States. Although I’m not Catholick (in fact, I enjoy watching the Catholick church die here in the United States and in Europe), I was aghast when the Catholicks chose the former Hitler Youth member Joseph Ratzinger as pope in 2005. (The Associated Press notes that “When he was elected the 265th leader of the church on April 19, 2005, [Ratzinger], aged 78, was the oldest pope elected in 275 years and the first German one in nearly 1,000 years.”)

I don’t know — it seems to me that the pope should be cute and cuddly, like the last pope was, not this mean, very old, right-wing German guy who looks waaaay too much like the evil emperor of the “Star Wars” films.

Speaking of “Star Wars,” I recall that cheesy line of Princess Leia’s to her captors on the Death Star in the 1977 installment: “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

Ratzinger came in as pope believing that the church had gone way too liberal. The modest reforms of the Vatican II, which took place even before I was born more than 40 years ago, were too liberal for Ratzinger; it was back to the Dark Ages for him. His attempts to bolster the church’s membership by swinging it to the far right, however, only lost the church even more membership in Europe and the United States, like more star systems slipping through his fingers.

Educated and enlightened people increasingly reject the oppressive and backasswards stances of the Catholick church, which apparently is growing only in third-world nations, as though the poor peoples of those nations didn’t already have enough problems.

That said, I hope that the next pope is from Latin America. Or hell, I understand that there’s even this Canadian guy who is in the running. If it can’t be a Latin American, I’ll take the Canadian. (No, I don’t want there to be an American pope. Hell no. The patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic Catholicks have too much power here as it is.) This string of European popes needs to stop, and the selection of the first non-European pope ever would be the world equivalent of Barack Obama’s having been the first non-white U.S. president, in my book.

It will be interesting to see if any Big Scandalous News is revealed after Pope Palpatine’s departure. He is, after all, the first pope to resign since the year 1415.

Maybe it’s just his old age that’s the problem — popes who lived before the days of television probably could be incapacitated for years and get away with it, since they weren’t expected to appear regularly on the non-existent television – but one remains dubious.

In any event, for now, anyway, it seems that after February 28, the world might just get a little bit kinder and gentler after Pope Palpatine is put out to pasture, and one hopes that the year will only continue to get better as the rule of the stupid white man continues to wane all over the globe.

P.S. (Wednesday, February 13, 2013): A simple Google search brings up ample articles on how the membership of the Catholick church indeed has been falling not only in Europe, but in the U.S. as well.

This article from The Week from April 2010, for instance, reports:

How severe is the crisis?
It’s “the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history,” says the National Catholic Reporter. Worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church now has 1.1 billion members, compared with 1.5 billion Muslims and 593 million Protestants. In the U.S., all the major denominations have seen their numbers decline in recent years, but the Catholic Church has taken the biggest hit. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for every one who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. [Emphasis mine.] In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period. Some 3,400 Catholic parishes in the U.S. now lack a resident priest. “Catholicism is in decline across America,” says sociologist David Carlin.

What about in Europe?
The situation there is even more dire, especially in the most historically devout countries. In 1991, 84 percent of the Irish population attended Mass at least once a week. Today the weekly attendance figure is less than 50 percent. In Spain, 81 percent of the population identifies itself as Catholic, but two-thirds say they seldom or never attend services. And the priest shortage is acute — in England and Wales, the church ordained only 16 clergy members in all of 2009.

The full article is here:

And again, a simple Google search will turn up many similar articles and statistics online.

The apologists for the Taliban-like Catholick church are entitled to their fucked-up opinions, but not to their own fucking facts.

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You are right. That we have the most followers of these white religious nuts in this country saddens me the most.
PS That was a cheesy line wasn't it! Excellent post. R
Well you sure tried to cover the waterfront there Robert. Great rant.
Well, these news items have been kicking around inside of me for a little while now. This was the opportunity to digest and then regurgitate them all out in one fell swoop...

Glad you liked this post. It is a bit stream-of-consciousness-y... Still, it could have been even longer. I didn't even go into Prop H8 and my lifetime of detestation of the Catholick church and the Mormon cult because of the fact that they were the main finanical backers of Prop H8, which has prevented me from marrying my same-sex partner of more than five years now.

Certain evil things you just can't and never will forget or forgive, which is killing not only the Catholick church, but the Repugnican Tea Party as well.
What would be the reaction on Open Salon if a blogger used the phrase "stupid black man" (or brown, yellow, red, add any colors you want) in a headline or within a post?
Fuck you, fucktard.

I get the term "stupid white man" from the title of Michael Moore's book "Stupid White Men."

Nice try in ganging up on me in your faux outrage, but no one who is sane and intelligent would be on your side.

Keeping leaving dipshit comments and I'll ban you like the other dipshits.

I write great posts and fucktards like you leave your worthless, thoughtless drive-bys.

Again: Fuck you.

And long live the First Amendment, fucktard.
"Nice try in ganging up on me in your faux outrage . . . "

I don't think that a one-sentence question constitutes "ganging up." More to the point, many of these people you're denouncing are not white nor are they male. Now I understand that a rant or diatribe is not an academic paper. Nonetheless, even a rant should not totally ignore the facts.

Over one-third of the Catholics in the country are hispanic or black. Around the world there are hundreds of millions of black, asian, and hispanic Catholics. In the first decade of this century the Catholic church membership grew by around 11 percent. Membership in Europe is declining. In the U.S. it is roughly remaining the same, and is increasing in the rest of the world. So I hate to break it to you, but the Catholic church is not dying; quite the opposite.

Concerning Prop 8 -- it passed not because of the Mormon and Catholic churches, but between the people of the state of California voted for it. According to exit polls 70 percent of black voters supported it. Later polls showed 58 percent support among black voters, still higher than the state average.

"And long live the First Amendment, fucktard."

You trumpet the First Amendment while threatening to "ban" the only dissenter on your post. Do you see the irony in that? You say that you write "great posts." If they are that great, then certainly they can withstand a little criticism.
Um, Arthur Louis cannot speak for himself? You are his defense attorney? What the fuck is up with that?

Um, I never wrote that every Catholick is a white male. I wrote about the pope, who is a white male, moron. Moreover, just as is the case with the "leadership" within the U.S. government, white men disproprortionately are represented in the "leadership" of the Catholick church. Therefore, it is a stupid-white-male institution, whether you wish to acknowledge that glaringly obvious fact or not.

As I stated, membership within the Catholick church has been declining in the U.S. and in Europe for some time now, regardless of what its total global numbers are doing. When you only can appeal to the poor and oppressed of the third world, those who are too uneducated and/or too socioeconomically desperate to fend off your propaganda and empty promises of a better life, the product that you're pushing probably isn't that great.

I hardly need a lecture on Prop H8 from you. It barely passed, 52 percent to 48 percent, but it would not pass here in California were it on the ballot today. It passed primarily because of a last-minute push by both the Mormon cult and the Catholick church, who gave not only last-minute millions of TV advertising dollars to their hateful "cause," but who instructed their members to hit the streets and to politick for Prop H8. Yet they remain tax-exempt. You don't even live in California, do you?

Yes, blacks disproportionately have been anti-same-sex marriage -- until Barack Obama came out in support of it. Go figure. But what does that have to do with this post? It's unfortunate that American blacks have adopted so much of the ignorant, hateful religion of their former slave owners, a part of which has been homophobia in the names of God and Jesus. I have written on the topic of black homophobia in the past.

What I meant by "ganging up" was that Arthur Louis attempted to act as though he was speaking for others when he stupidly wrote, "What would be the reaction on Open Salon..." He was trying to give the impression that he has some fucking coalition of race-based outrage on his side, but thus far he apparently has only you, his defense attorney, and you're doing a pretty shitty job of defending him.

I routinely ban commenters who are more interested in going around and around with me pointlessly than they are interested in advancing any dialogue. I'm not into pissing contests. And the First Amendment primarily prohibits the government from squelching free speech -- it doesn't cover drive-by grafitti in the comments sections of blog posts, Love.

Usually, these drive-by commenters are like you -- when I visit their (your) blogs, I see that you post very infrequently and that what you post is inconsequential and uninteresting. Too bad that you don't spend more time creating original content of your own instead of trying to engage in pissing contests with other bloggers on their own turf.
P.S. Yes, indeed, compared to what passes as "posts" on most others' blogs, I write GREAT FUCKING posts. Therefore, if someone is going to criticize me, I want him or her to do it well, not lazily and sloppily.

That would include not ignoring my main arguments and not misstating my arguments, such as Arthur Louis lazily and stupidly did when he actually tried to pull the race card on me, when I'm a white male myself -- just not a stupid white male. The key word in the phrase "stupid white male" is not "white," but "STUPID." And the only person slammed in my post who might not be a white male is "the Shooter." He probably is, but since his name and race have not been revealed, we only can conclude that he's a stupid man, not that he necessarily is a stupid white man, although my money is on the latter.
Mr. Crook, I can speak for myself, but refrained from doing so after you threatened to delete what I wrote. Why waste time?

To answer my own question in my previous comment:

Q.: What would be the reaction on Open Salon if a blogger used the phrase "stupid black man..." etc. ?

A: Outrage. Complaints to the site administrator. Obscene outbursts. (You know what those are, right?)

You indicated that you cannot marry your partner. He is a lucky man.
My partner is quite happy with me, fuck you very much.

Again, "stupid white man" comes from the title of one of Michael Moore's best-selling books, so I hardly think that the term is wholly outside of what is considered acceptable political discourse. The First Amendment, while we're on the topic, doesn't protect precious stupid white men like you from being -- gasp! -- offended. So good luck in trying to tattle on me with OS, mmmk?

You're banned, pissant.

P.S. You're fairly alone in your "outrage," much like the pansy Linsdey Graham.
Soooo ... referencing the existence of a book title as the rationale for a potentially-offensive phrase is legit?

Hmmm, I'll have to remember that.

And making (what you feel is) a valid determination about the extent of outrage based on the comments in your blog(s) with its puny readership and single-digit rates -- again, interesting approach.

Hope that serves you well.

Carry on.
Fuck you if you're offended. I don't care if you're offended. (And you're banned now, by the way.)

Nor am I worried about my blog's readership. I blog because I like to blog. (And I didn't start with OS -- I started blogging back in 2002, and I had my blog on the WordPress platform before I decided to post a mirror blog on OS.)

I certainly don't blog for the numbers, because unless you have an awful lot of money at your disposal with which to promote yourself, you're not going to get much notice when everyone and his dog and his dog's fleas has a blog, are you?

And if I depended upon an enlightened, thoughtful readership to keep me going, I certainly would be screwed, as comments like yours prove.

All of that said, YOU'RE a big-time blogger? Funny, because until now I'd never heard of you...

Oh, right -- looking at YOUR blog right now, I see that since August you've posted only two things, and your most recent piece apparently is about nipple clamps.

Yeah, I'm going to take your criticisms of my blogging right to heart -- NOT.
" . . . I see that you post very infrequently and that what you post is inconsequential and uninteresting."

Actually, I think that is a fair assessment of my activity here. I rarely take the time to write posts. That's because I spend most of my time deleting spam accounts so that legitimate posts -- such as yours -- aren't lost in a river of spam. Yesterday I deleted close to two hundred "water filter" posts, the activity I was engaged in when I came across your post.

Another thing to consider about comments. Every comment on your post -- whether supportive or critical -- helps to draw attention to YOUR post. At the very least, every comment makes your post show up on the cover in the "recent comments" queue. As your post gains visibility it is more likely that people will read it. If enough people view and rate your post it will also show up in the "top rated" queue. In short, every comment on your post is free advertising.

If you delete, or threaten to delete comments, that makes it less likely that people will comment. If they don't comment, you don't get the free advertising, and it's less likely that people will read your post. In my humble opinion the best strategy is to welcome comments, positive or negative. Because the way Open Salon is set up, it turns out that your critic ends up being your friend.
As I have stated, I'm not in it (blogging) for the numbers. I value quality over quantity in whatever meager readership I have.

Comments, to me, are to be about the subject of the blog post, are to be a continuing discussion of the subject at hand.

Your last comment is all about your ideas on strategies for getting the most number of blog hits -- and nothing about the subject matter of the blog post.

That, to me, is an example of one of the misuses of the comments function. Please stop misusing my comments function or I'll have to ban you. Thank you.
Robert, you are writing with the proverbial "pen warmed up in hell"! Great post. You cover a lot of ground and I'll only comment on two items. Abraham Lincoln was one of those farmer's sons who "found farm life to be fucking miserable." He fled as soon as he was of legal age and never looked back. Declined to return even when he was told his father was dying. Hated talk about log cabins, rail-splitting and his PWT origins; always shifted conversation back to "look how far I've come."
As for the currernt Worship the Military & Militarism mentality today, 1945 was in fact the last year that an American serviceman died in actual defense of the USA. The tens of thousands who died since died for the fat & diseased egos of Robert McNamara and Dick Cheney or other morally equivalent causes, but they sure as hell didn't die defending the United States. [r]