What’s Up Stud?

imagesI went out for a bike ride this morning and it happened to be when the local high school students were out having their lunch. I rode by a group of boys and one of them yelled “What’s up Stud?” and frankly, it pissed me off.

So I turned my bike around and said “Who said that?”

“I did, what’s the problem Stud?” one of them said.

“The problem is you don’t know me, I’m a disabled Marine Corps vet, I’ve served my country, I own a business in this town, and you’re being disrespectful.”

“How is that disrespectful, Nigga?” one of the white boys said.

I thought about my black friends, my African wife and daughter, and my buddy’s grandmother and decided to just ignore that whole end of the conversation.

“It’s disrespectful because you don’t know me, I’m not your friend and you have no reason or right to call me Stud, motherfucker, or anything else”

These were high school football players and a couple of them started moving towards me – at this point there were about ten of them – then the giggling girls showed up – “He said motherfucker… hee hee” and I felt the threat from a big dumb looking kid moving towards me – I know that look – he was going to hit me and impress those girls

A couple of options went through my head

1) Step off the bike, pick up the bike and use it to smack his big ugly face with the sproket and then kick him right in the nuts before doing a sweep and stomp on his face – then turn and give a big Marine death yell to the rest and deal with whatever they might have to give
2) Ride away
3) Keep talking and try to explain why what they had done and were doing was disrespectful

I wanted to believe those kids were just missing someone telling them how it was…that was stupid. They were too far gone to learn anything in that situation and I felt the situation escalating as big hoss moved toward me. At that point a smaller, wiser kid with a scraggly beard stepped forward…as I got ready to teach big hoss a permanent lesson.

“Passion lies that way – if you leave now” the smaller bearded said. Honestly, I don’t know what the fuck that meant. I was close to entering a rage and not far from attacking a 17 year old kid amidst a group of ten or so hormone addled boys in the midst of a couple of girls they were bound to want to impress. The moment I was trying to figure out what it meant, I realized it was time for option number two. I rode away – but boy was I pissed.

I can’t begin to explain how angry I found myself. I took myself into my garage and tried to calm myself as I looked at my baseball bat and a few other nice pieces of equipment that might level the playing field. Ultimately, there was nothing to be done. I had a series of options that led to nowhere good.

1) Beat up a bunch of minors
2) Get beat up by a bunch of minors
3) Argue with a bunch of petulent teens
4) Yell at disrespectful kids of disrespectful parents
5) Have bigger worse problems

None of it was good. I called the police and told them about the incident. I called the high school and told them about the incident. In both cases, they said there was nothing to be done about it and in the future I should ignore the teens taunts and disrespect. If we were still in Africa or Turkey, they would have been bleeding and learned something – but this is America. There is nothing to do.

I don’t really like it – but that’s all there is to it. I’m going to have a big dish of spaghetti next to the door when Halloween comes – if those dummies come to my door – I’m going to serve it to them cold and ruin all their candies – I remember their faces – and that, kids, is why you should never holler disrespect to unknown strangers. It might just ruin your Halloween candy.

Notes for the future

2015 – USSR Reformation – evidence emerges that Russia armed and offered advisers to ISIS – Russia continues conquest of former republics – EU and NATO scramble to contain advance

US and UK are deeply occupied by spread of ISIS as it continues to create new fronts in the Middle East and North Africa – New fronts in Indonesia and Malaysia

China, the Koreas, and Japan start having major troubles.

Russia, IS, China, Korea – RICK


Labor Day

I’m working today – as we all should be.  It would be different if they called Labor Day ‘the last day of Summer’ or ‘Fun at the Lake Day’ or ‘Beach BBQ Day’ – but I hate the fact that it’s called Labor Day.  Labor Day is a joke.

In most civilized parts of the world – Labor Day is May 1st – also known as International Workers Day or May Day.  I support that holiday – but the USA has not and never has. Instead, the capitalist USA political machine has always been scared of organized labor, they’ve always been scared of workers organizing, and they’ve always been scared of the workers controlling the means of production. They’ve labored such things as red, communist, socialist, or anti-American.  The reason  is that the capitalist class have always depended on the slave labor of the workers to make themselves rich. There has been a war against organized labor in this country for a long while and the capitalists are winning it bigger than ever.

Gone are the days when unions were controlled by the workers, gone are the days when there were calls for shorter work days, shorter work weeks, higher pay, better benefits, or lifetime security for loyal workers – instead we live in a country where companies are immortal and workers are hired as ‘contractors’ which is a fancy way of saying they have no job security and no benefits they don’t provide for themselves.

In 1886,  on May 4th, following organized labor activities and protests (on May 1st – the real labor day)  which followed demands for an 8 hour workday – police killed several protestors and riots ensued – culminating in protestors bombing the police with dynamite and the police killing four more and then seven being sentenced to death for conspiracy. This, many say, is the origin of the world’s labor day on May 1st ( though actually, MayDay goes further back than that) – in a sense – one could argue that communism has it’s roots in this American event – thus is an American institution which has been villainized and made to appear foreign and anti-American.  In any event, President Grover Cleveland feared that MayDay celebrations would be used to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre and celebrations were banned. After the Pullman Strike where Federal Marshalls and U.S. military killed workers demanding safer conditions, the government rushed to create a National ‘Labor’ Day – but designated it be in September to avoid remembrance of government brutality towards workers demanding better conditions and safer work environments. The choice of September 1st was blatantly political and championed by President Grover Cleveland to disempower nascent Communist, Anarchist, and Syndicalist movements which used MayDay as a rallying point to bring workers to a more empowered system.

Retailers love Labor Day and it is said to be the 2nd best retail sale day of the year – which means that workers are working longer hours on this holiday celebrating labor rights

The United States Capitalist Army has won it’s war against organized labor. They have villainized labor as mobsters, communists, and criminals. They have created a holiday that disempowers workers from solidarity with workers in other countries, and they have impovershed workers to the point where we are all working longer hours, getting less benefits, and earning less buying power (less money).  There is no need to outlaw labor organizations because they are already working against labor.

Congratulations America. Happy Labor Day.

American Dogs

I used to have a dog. My dog was well trained and I took it most places with me. The dog was loved and well cared for. Still, I recognize now that I wasn’t a very responsible dog owner – unless I was someplace where people might be walking – I would let the poop stay on the ground.  I didn’t keep my dog on a leash, generally – because she was well trained and would come when I called, heel, etc.

I tell you that so that you have some context for this bit of a rant.  I’m not much of a dog person any longer. It’s different when the dog is yours and you’ve raised it from a pup, spent years with it, etc – I know that – but the relationship I see between Americans and their dogs is something that makes me a little bit sick these days.

I go to people’s houses and find dog hair everywhere, I see people kiss their dogs on the mouth, I see people letting their dog lick their mouths, taste their food (and then the people eat it). I’ve been into houses as an insurance agent, a guest, or a picker where the smell of dog piss is so overwhelming that I want to vomit. People have their little dogs pee on pads that soak it up – but which don’t soak up the smell.  I’ve been served food by hosts with dogs who didn’t seem to notice that their dog’s hair was in the food.

People let their dogs jump on me, lick me (it’s licking, not kissing), and harrass me.

Now, recently, I have people walk into my antique shop with their dog in their hands or even worse, on a leash without asking so much as a by your leave.  I’ve had guests show up at my house without mentioning they were bringing their dogs (fyi – Lola is the only dog allowed in my house – all others must stay outside).

I understand it’s your dog. I understand you think of it as a member of your family. And I don’t really give a shit. It’s a dog. Dog’s aren’t particularly clean. Pigs are particularly clean and I don’t want a pig to lick me, jump on me, or come in my house or shop. Dogs are not as clean as pigs – I don’t like your dog, we might as well get it out of the way. I may not like your kid either, for that matter and you probably shouldn’t bring them into an antique shop either unless they are restrained or very well mannered and behaved.

I don’t have any desire to get another dog.  If I do – you don’t have to like my dog just like I don’t like yours. Now – quit making me deal with your dog’s spit, hair, shit, or piss –

I was at a loss as to how to nicely tell people not to bring their dogs in my shop – my solution was to hang a sign in the door – “Licensed Service Dogs Welcome – All others please wait outside” I bet there will be more than one that ignore the sign…I will definitely ask them to leave after pointing out the sign.

One Man, No Plan, uhhhhh-ohhhhh

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