Sargeant, Did You Pay The Power Bill?

Seems like fighting the War Against the Evildoers and keeping the lights on at our Army posts at the same time is just too much to ask for. Oh well, just another sacrifice that our soldiers and their families will have to make while the rest of us keep shopping to defy the terrorists.

“A diversion of dollars to help fight the war in Iraq has helped create a $530 million shortfall for Army posts at home and abroad, leaving some unable to pay utility bills or even cut the grass.”

So basically, we have enough money for Halliburton to swindle in Iraq but not enough to pay the electric bill on our Army bases. Enough to give tax breaks to those poor, struggling oil giants but not enough to make sure that our Army bases have medical supplies or government communications like pagers or cell phones. Plenty in the coffers to fund proactive wars off the books, but not enough to pay the trash bill. Seems we even have enough money to give some more tax breaks to the rich, but at Fort Sam Houston (in our Dear Leader’s beloved TEXAS, no less) they might not be able to buy food for the horses that carry soldiers’ caskets to their graves.

In addition to not being able to pay the bills for utilities, U.S. Army installations worldwide are having to lay-off civilian contractors and close base services that those people staffed. Hmmm….what was that again about the blossoming economy and our growing ‘ownership society?’

Thank you again President Bush for all you do for our fighting men, women, and their families. Thank you Congress for all your support too, by giving all that he asks for and then some. We’ll just add this to the growing list of ways you’re Supporting The Troops. (Right next to sending them into a poorly planned battlefield, not giving them enough good armor, cutting funds to the Veteren’s Administration, cutting services that military families depend on like food stamps and student loans, or even constantly redeploying them into Iraq)

Gee, with leadership like this looking out for you, who needs radical religious enemies?

New and Improved?

Ever since I was a kid, I have enjoyed the clear, refreshing taste of 7-Up soda. So I was surprised to find out that The Uncola that had always been Crisp, Clean, With No Caffeine, was making a change. The recently unveiled 7-Up is now 100% Natural, giving soft-drink sippers “more crisp, refreshing taste.” Clearly, the soft drink geniuses have given us someting New and Improved to make life better than ever before.

But a cursory look at the fine print on the can’s ingredients label shows that where the old version had just citric acid, the new version has natural citric acid. Where there was once sodium citrate you can now find natural potassium citrate. And lo and behold, that old calcium disodium flavor protecter in the old stuff has been taken out completely. Seems to me that this New and Improved 7-Up isn’t really all that new or improved. And to tell the truth, I can’t taste a single difference in the two.

The analogy, of course, is coming.

As I though about the slick marketing campaign that 7-Up was plying on the public, I couldn’t help but think about our American partisan politics, especially during election times. We consumers, the voting public, are presented with any number of New and Improved candidates who promise to make our lives More Crisp and Refreshing, so to speak. But time and time again, we ignore the fine print and only belatedly (if at all) realize that we’ve just bought the same old thing again. Maybe when it comes to soft drinks, that’s not such a big deal. But when your country is going to hell in a hand bag, you can’t afford to forget to read the fine print.

Our ‘leaders’ are hoping that we’ll do just that, and that is why they trot out mostly irrelevant issues for us to sink our teeth into while they go about the business of bankrupting (both morally and financially) our country.

Sometimes staying the course is stupid.
This November, change the course.

(Cross posted at Bring It On!)