Monday, April 5, 2010

Re: Worth the read "I'm 63 and I'm Tired"

Following the lead of Jacob S., I decided to also post an e-mail that I received. The original e-mail has been circulating recently, but the responses come from a friend of mine who gave me permission to post it here:

I normally don't respond to these and I usually dislike getting political emails. But in light of all the lies and hatred going around these days, I took my lunch break to read and respond this time. For me, there was just a line or 2 that I DO agree with. Here are my rebuttals to the rest. My comments are in blue.

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm 43. Except for a period of time when I needed to leave a company and hadn't found a new job yet, I've worked, hard, since I was 13. I don't put in 50-hour weeks because my family is more important than spending time at an organization that doesn't value families. I don't make a good salary, but I make enough to provide for my family while still having time to spend with them. I'm hoping someday I can manage an early retirement, but that's not in the works yet.
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of greedy wealthy corporations controlling everything in this country. I'm tired of being forced to pay money to industries to enrich their shareholders, just so I can buy basic goods or provide basic services for my family. Corporations make hundreds of billions of dollars yet still pay their employees poor wages. These wealthy multinational corporations cringe whenever they're asked to stop polluting or have to pay to clean up messes they made that destroy our environment and kill our children.

I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I'm tired of the right-wing Congress-critters who refused to regulate the financial industry and allowed the economy of the entire world to go to the toilet and caused the Great Recession. I'm tired of the wealthy greedy banking industry who lent money to people even though it was obvious they couldn't afford to repay it.

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of China , the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela .

I'm tired of people who sit behind the flag of this great country and use our military predominance to bomb another country because of some perceived made-up threat. The right-wing "go USA!" crowd was more than happy to spend hundreds of billions of dollars destroying Iraq, and left us with no money to prop up our own economy when their own fiscal irresponsibility led us into recession.

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm tired of so-called "Christians" who go on national talk shows and encourage people to leave their Christian religion if it tells them to act Christ-like. (I'm talking to you Glen Beck.) I'm tired of people who look at the bad actions of a few people in another religion and automatically determine that all people in that religion must be evil.

I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois. I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I'm tired of the overt racism in this country, led by right-wing talk radio, where anyone with brown skin is automatically perceived as an illegal immigrant. I'm proud we live in a country where people of all colors and faiths can live and work side by side, but I'm sick of the people who pretend to not be racist, when that's exactly what they are.

I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I'm sick of organizations like Fox News and the entire talk show industry that's raking in billions of dollars by spreading hatred, distrust, intolerance, racism, paranoia and fear. There's a simple fact of psychology that says if you create an enemy then vilify that enemy, you'll be come the hero. Hitler did it. Joe McCarthy did it. The religious extremists around the world are doing it. And talk radio is doing an expert job of this by making enemies of immigrants, non-English speakers, and anyone they can label as a "socialist". Fox News made a conscious decision to go far to the right because they knew they could make money by getting people all worked up over non-issues. It was totally a business decision, not a moral one. If Fox really had morals, would their broadcast division be producing so many trashy anti-Christian shows?

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of people who forgot the lesson of the Good Samaritan. When's the last time your so-called "christian" church preached love for others?
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired of people who can't open their eyes to what's happening to our planet. I don't care if the globe is warming or not. I don't care if it's human caused or part of a natural cycle. The fact is, if the environment goes bad, we all die. Even republicans will die. It's not like you have the ability to spread lamb's blood on your door posts and pollution won't enter your home. Why is it you have to be anti-environment to be a good Republican? What does your political party have to do with polluted air and water? You don't need to embrace the whole environmental movement to take whatever steps you can to protect our environment. Our country is way behind other developed countries when it comes to protecting our environment.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'll have to say I agree with this one.

I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those are the citizens we need.

I think you already know my response here. Illegal immigration has been a problem since this country was founded. And it'll always be a problem. The only reason it made its way into the news several years ago was because the talk show industry and others were trying to draw attention away from the failed war in Iraq. Remember, create an enemy, vilify that enemy, then you become the hero. To prove my point, A few years ago, George W. Bush came up with a good solution to the problem by proposing a guest worker program and a way to attain legal status. Probably the only good idea he had, and it would have helped all those big republican corporate donor industries who have been employing the illegal immigrants. But unfortunately, that would have solved the problem and the talk shows wouldn't have an enemy any more, so they quickly shot down the whole proposal. And what does serving in the military have to do with being a good citizen?

I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I'm tired of people who confuse "anti war" with "anti soldier". Just because you criticize the war doesn't mean you criticize the military. We have one of the best trained militaries in history, but that doesn't mean we should make up excuses to send them to war. When people say "support our troops", I ask how they are supporting our troops. What do they do, send them cookies?" The best support we could ever have for our troops is to keep them out of harms way. If we're attacked, then by all means, let's defend ourselves. We were very justified in going into Afghanistan. But war should always be the last resort.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.

I'm tired of the right wing Christian conservatives who claim to be so Christ-like but are the exact opposite. When the lawyers brought the accused adulteress to Christ to accuse her, what did he say? It's one of the most famous lines in the whole bible: let he who is without sin cast the first stone. The Christian conservatives do the exact opposite. If you're gay, you must be a sinner; it doesn't matter all the good stuff you do, you're still a sinner. One of the biggest problems with the republicans today is their focus on silly social issues that don't matter to most people.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I agree. "Both parties" is the key phrase here, along with "rich or poor".

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I don't know what you're talking about here, but let's see how well you'd live on the federal poverty level. For my family of six, in 2009, that would have been $29,530. I would consider myself poor at that level. I make much more than that, and I still consider myself poor. See:

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

I agree, and maybe we should start by regulating attorneys. Oh wait, regulation would be a left-wing idea.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Me too, but what I'm mostly tired of is people who sit around and complain and freak out whenever somebody tries fixing things by changing the status quo. And more than anything, I'm tired of people who listen to hate-filled talk shows all day and aren't willing to think for themselves or to do any research.


Daniel H said...


Jacob S. said...

I'll play. In response to the paragraph about soldiers:

I'm tired of people that think only conservatives love America and serve in the military. I'm tired of people that want to simply gloss over our failures in foreign policy instead of exposing them and improving upon them. I'm also tired of the moral relativism in foreign policy that says as long as the perceived "bad guy" acts worse than us we are justified in our less-bad actions. I want America to live by a higher standard because it is the right thing to do and because it will make us safer at home.

rain said...

Shawn O.: Thank you for your responses. I was cheering with each one. Whomever the tired 63 year old is, he may as well just give up the ghost now, because that's what he's done: Given up. And Jacob? I agree. I love this country...I love the CHOICES we have, the ability to CHANGE things that don't work. I'm thankful that there are people that fight for that...for me.

Shawn O. said...

Thanks Rain, but I can't take credit for the responses - they are from a friend of mine. But, like you, I feel the 63 year-old is just a pathetic critic that doesn't have the desire to really change anything. Why put effort into making a difference when you can always just sit and complain?

Daniel H said...

At work we call the 63-year old's position a "Pointer" because all he does is point out the problem.

We're encouraged to be "scoopers" people that get involved and fix the problems we face.

I think your friend is much more of a scooper.

Anonymous said...

I find it disappointing that so many of the "responses" were merely the stereotypical "the conservative right is the bane of America's existence" arguments. The condescending tone from both sides (right and left wing) is counterproductive. Does conservative talk radio go too far? Many times yes, but I have yet to hear talk radio label all "brown people" as illegal immigrants. I found the responses to the email to be rhetoric-filled and less than persuasive....basically pandering to the left just like talk radio does to the right.

Daniel H said...

Anonymous - you may not be aware - but the right-leaning majority of Arizona's legislators and possibly governor (she hasn't yet signed the bill) are about to pass a bill that allows the police and sheriffs of Arizona to stop anyone that looks like they might be an illegal alien.

It's sitting on the Governor's desk - granted, you're right TALK RADIO hasn't said all brown people are illegal immigrants, but it seems like the political leaders of Arizona on the state level are sure saying that.