Good morning everyone and happy Saturday once again! And, to all those who celebrate, be it the secular or religious variant (or someplace in-between), happy Easter as well. So how has the last week been for you? For me, it’s the last week of the month, so I’ve been very busy showing places to people. Yesterday, we finally had some Spring, and it sure is nice to hear the robins singing again. I go through the same thing every year, realizing how much I missed the robins, and green grass, and driving with the windows down, and not wearing a wool trench coat, and… Everything just seems so… alive! The temps will dip a bit next week, but just being able to forgo blasting the heat is much appreciated. I can dig it!
Reviewing the past week, the news has been rather grim. We were reminded it was forty years ago the last of the troops in Vietnam were sent home, Lt. Dan Choi is still on trial, a vet bragged about fighting With Al-Qaida and is being charged for it, and of course, King Joffrey… I mean Kim Jong Un, is pissed our guys flew overhead and is raising his threats. And then, on top of everything else, a columnist in St. Louis says only hero-heroes should be awarded with military honors upon their deaths. Really?!
In some small way, I get what he’s saying, that a guy who was drafted, was assigned a cushy job stateside and didn’t pull a Forrest Gump isn’t of the same caliper as someone like these guys. He did his time, he went home unscathed, got a job in an office, married, had a few kids, retired in Florida with a pension and benefits, lived long enough to see his grandkids graduate high school and died peacefully in his sleep. The end. But let’s think about that for a minute: This fictitious man, while he got lucky and didn’t have to see any action, he probably didn’t know he would get lucky. He could have very easily fled to Canada or crapped his pants. No, he was brave in the fact his number came up and showed up to serve his country, even with Walter Cronkite scaring the bejeezus out of him. That denotes courage, courage deserving of the honors awarded him and everyone else who has ever served, and that’s good enough for me.
And yes, I do get we’re broke, that we need to make some painful cuts in the military, and there are always more important things tax dollars should be going. But y’know, sometimes, it’s the little things that matter – not just now but down the road, too. Some feel spending $80k on a stone circle for Pagan Air Force cadets was wasteful. Others feel suing the Veterans Administration so the pentacle can be placed on military headstones was a waste of taxpayer dollars as well.
And y’know, I again get that to a small degree, because the people balking are either extremely fiscally conservative or are staunchly against supporting much of anything that does not adhere to their principles. Perhaps it’s a little of both. And yes, again, we’re broke, and with it being tax time, the “53%” (which we are technically now a part of since we paid this year instead of getting a refund, and we get no
entitlements benefits) are looking at the bottom line. I’m fiscally conservative. Some have even said behind my back I’m related to Mr. Krabs. (Yikes!) I will admit, it pains me to spend money on things unless it’s absolutely necessary or I really, really have wanted something for an exceptionally long time. But I do. But even Mr. Krabs is a Navy vet who was a cook on the S. S. Gourmet Diarrhea, and I’m certain he would be okay with a few pennies going toward my fictitious man mentioned. Well, Eugene might cry about it a bit at first, but that tiny heart of his might give in, perhaps at his darling daughter Pearl’s urging. (I watch too much Spongebob to know all this, don’t I?)
I had mentioned the news this week was rather grim, but not entirely. On Monday, my Facebook wall went red, since at least half of my Friends changed their profile pictures. To folks who have a serious gripe with the Human Rights Campaign, and yes, the folks who are against marriage equality as a whole (still shaking my head about the local peeps’ comments!), they may feel tax dollars being spent on the Supreme Court hearings is a waste. I readily admit I have no horse in the race, so I should also be against my tax dollars going towards this, right? No, because I see marriage equality as not just a baby step but a huge leap toward making our country stronger. That does involve me, so there goes that logic right there. How? Well here’s my sterile, business-minded rationing:
- Marriage, not holy matrimony, provides a plethora of benefits not extended to cohabitants. Ron and I lived together for a couple years before we married, and when we did, we immediately saw a huge difference in how much more money we had available to us. More money in peoples’ pockets means more money available to stimulate the economy.
- Things like married health care benefits means healthier people since it’s cheaper to be on someone else’s plan than to get your own. A healthier populace means more productivity.
- Married couples are greatly preferred over singles and cohabitants when it comes to adopting children. Getting kids out of foster care means fewer tax dollars being spent, and children who grow up in loving homes with support systems have a much better chance of becoming productive citizens than kids who “age out“.
- Marriage always means money for the surrounding community, from beginning to end. Traditional weddings involve caterers, florists, reception halls, dress makers and so much more. And yes, divorces certainly make lawyers happy.
- It’s been said happy people make more money, and the more money one has, the more there is to spend. So why would anyone encourage two people who love each other not to marry, when marriage makes people happy?
Welp, I’ve got another busy Saturday scheduled, so I do need to get things wrapped up. Many blessings to you and yours, and yes, be happy!