Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Saturday, July 01, 2006
First things second. Went to Carmel the other day and unfortunately the great bakery on Ocean Ave. up by the park has changed hands and sucks. That leaves Solvang for good cinnamon cow pies. The cheese shop in Carmel Plaza remains the best, and now takes orders over the internet.
Okey Dokey now the first thing. The internet show is waiting for the marketing people to get off their keisters and get the damn thing done. I'm ready!! We've changed the time from1-3pm because it made more sense.
Even though it's not actually operating yet, you can go to slotalkischeap.com and check out the logo. If you click on a sponsor with a website it will go their site. The top part will be banner advertising.
Here's a hoot! Google in your own name on Google and see what happens. I have some weirdness in there and then Google assumes you meant to type in Benicia, so consequently there are hundreds of entries. Do it when you're really , really, bored.
Here's wishing everybody a happy 4th of July and Happy Trails!
Posted by billbenica at 11:45 AM
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Alright, already. So it's taken ALOT longer than I thought to get this internet thing going and there's a good reason. Let me say however that it is happening. The final logo design and colors were decided today. You know, it really isn't that big a deal to do it but if you've crashed and burned twice in the past with broadcasting deals that went up in very expensive smoke, it tends to make you very cautious.
Immigration is really big in the news but being a non-English speaking greatgrandson of a bilge bum from Germania I choose not to bring attention to myself by getting carried away about it. I figure if you can make it over the fence into the U.S., then you can make it back over to Mexico, and just for the sport of it, unleash a pack of a thousand pitbulls across the border with the scent of Vincente Fox's ass strong in their nostrils. I call this deformed reform immigration. The dogs call it chewey.
What a world class leader! I don't give a damn about my people but I think you should! We'll put that inscription over the San Ysidro border crossing as an inspiration to make the last 100 yard sprint more compelling.
...later 'Gator and happy trails of tears. Bill
Thursday, March 02, 2006
I had a whole different opening sentence to this blog but after my wife saw it she moved in with her mother.
It's her fault....I wasn't going to see Brokeback Mountain, but she made me take her to the Palm Theater to see this beautiful love story and by golly it was beautiful. Like the dude in "Hunt for Red October" said in his dying breath,"I always wanted to see Montana!"
Well, Montana looks pretty spectacular and so does Wyoming but this movie never answered the why(?) in Whyoming. I personally liked the sheep.
World Wide Willy (internet streaming) is still a work in progress BUT is definitely going to be a reality in the nearish future. I've decided not to kill myself to get it done but to get it done. The studio, equipment (board, mics, etc.) and computers are ready to rock. The website is taking form. The legal crap is driving me nuts but we're getting there.
I think you're going to like it...a bunch of us hard-working souls do and when the time is right you'll know who they are and why we had to slow up some, but soon, like they sang in the movie, "Round 'em up, herd 'em out, shove it in.......RAWHIDE!!!!!!!!" Crappy Trails!
Posted by billbenica at 6:28 PM
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Dear Policy Maker; Dear America
We have the clarity of hindsight, and yet the path is ambiguous. To say it seemed like a good idea at the time is not meant to trivialize those who died, but rather to justify a nation's actions in sending their youth to the jungles of Vietnam.
Those lucky enough to return, albeit missing limbs, innocence, youth, or peace, in desperate need of healing, returned to a hostile country. Their country shunned and despised them. In Vietnam, the enemy they fought was hidden and unseen. Upon return, our war-weary veterans became the enemy; our welcoming committees fraught with verbal and physical abuse forced them into hiding.
Thirty and some odd years later, when health issues compel them out of hiding, we find new methods of punishing them. We refuse them money for benefits, question their integrity, and disrespect their presence once again.
Truly we believed our involvement in Vietnam to be a good idea--a necessary evil. We believed in the red threat, it was palatable, not some mad ramblings of a wayward senate committee, drunk on their own power.
To a tiny Asian nation, war weary from hundreds of years of takeovers, with a myriad of other problems, the least of which were food, shelter, medical care and corrupt governments, our youth were answers to their most heartfelt of prayers.
Our brave men and women did the best they could with the knowledge they had at that time. They were American citizens who volunteered or were sent, not asked, by their government to serve--to help keep their mothers, fathers, sisters, wives and lovers free from the threat of communism.
For if it wasn't stopped in the tiny, vulnerable countries, it would be that much more of a giant to wrestle if it came to our shores or the shores of our allies, was the belief of three sitting presidents, their cabinets and their senates. To say that the war was mismanaged seems too obvious.
It was, from beginning to end. To lay blame at any one entity's feet is a waste of time. It was a war--not a conflict (people died - that makes it a war) that could have and should have had different results.
It was a war some say was not ours to fight; many vets feel once committed to the fight, the military was hampered in and not allowed to win the fight. It was a war we should learn many lessons from. But it is not acceptable now, any more than it was then, to blame the warriors who fought so bravely and gave of themselves so selflessly, while powerful generals and men in Washington mismanaged a concept, a war and a country.
And yet, that is what our government does to the Vietnam Vet every time disability claims are denied, health issues not addressed, or money is not spent on Veteran Affairs.
Instead of ticker tape parades, job offers and the same respect and benefits previously afforded veterans received, the Vietnam Vet was greeted with verbal abuse, rotten fruit bombardments and threats. They quickly learned to hide their service, hide their trauma, hide the uniform their fathers and grandfathers wore so proudly--deny the past few years of their lives as though they'd never happened and try to move on.
Some were incapable of doing that. Some were crippled and turned to a nation that turned its back on them. These are the parents and grandparents of the next generation of warriors, which could explain the decline in patriotic young people proudly volunteering for military service and the opportunity to serve their country in Iraq.
The war in Iraq reminds the Vietnam veteran of the futility of committing our young people to another foreign country with questionable involvement issues, placing them in harm's way where once again there is no clear front line.
All the while, debating the merits of such a commitment, while removing the decisions and strategies of fighting a war out of military hands. Fighting a war without hurting anyone is Vietnam all over again.
Iraq forces them to remember a year or more of their lives spent without control, in fear, where killing was the cunning enemy's job, sometimes using women, children and their old people as human grenades. Our vets learned to trust no one, there or here, concentrating their energies instead on simply staying alive the best they could. And wondered then, and now, if anybody really cared about them or what they did for their country. Many did not leave the war in a jungle thousands of miles away, it continues to live in them every single day.
They would like nothing more than to close their eyes at night and not see blood, death and fear. PTSD is a very real part of a lot of Veterans' lives. It is not a ploy to fleece America of millions of dollars; it is the Vietnam Veterans personal hell.
Vietnam comes back to all who were there in very real physical health issues, too. Agent Orange left its calling card not only in the forests of Vietnam, but in the breasts, colons and reproductive systems of our citizens.
And now diminishing benefits rewards the veterans. When is enough punishment? America sent them there, believing it to be a good idea at the time. America signed them up for a year or more of trying to stay alive. America is responsible for their night terrors, their flashbacks, their cancers.
We can't change our mind, now, America. We can't ignore them and hope they'll go away--they already gave us that grace when they first returned to an inhospitable homeland. They need you. They've done the best they can for the past thirty years, living with Vietnam every single day of their lives, every single day of their family's lives. They're tired.
America needs to pick up their weary load. We need to look them in the eye and tell them we appreciate them. That their service, their lost limbs, innocence and youth were not in vain. They are not baby killers to be shunned and disrespected, masking America's misjudgment, her responsibility with a melee of blame and hate targeted at the Vietnam vet.
We cannot give them back all that was lost in the heat and monsoons of a jungle in a hostile land. We can't right the wrongs of a government who callously sent its future to a war that had no happy ending; that would justify the insanity. But we can step up and be the men and women they were.
If the country's bank statement needs balancing, don't use veteran benefits as a solution. You punish not only the Vietnam Vet, but also any man or women who proudly served their country in war or peace. Odd, but budgetary cuts never affect the upper echelon, only the helpless, those who can't fight back--like children, seniors and the forgotten and unappreciated war heroes.
It was like that in the 1960's and '70's, too. When their names and numbers were called. And odder still, is the mentality of a government who sends their citizens to war, then denies or decreases the returned veteran's benefits. It is the unwritten contract between country and warrior that needs to be honored.
The Vietnam Veterans, nurses, entertainers and volunteers who went to fight or support America in any way they could, often defying their peers, need you now. They need your thanks, your support, your respect and your determination to right the wrong that was done to them for far too long.
Do not cut money or services to them, or question their disabilities. That is a disgraceful and dishonorable thank you for their service to their country. They are not getting rich on America's back. I have yet to meet or read about the Vietnam Vet who is receiving benefits in their Beverly Hills mansion's mailbox.
They took on your mistakes, covered your backs for long enough. It's your turn to tell them, "Hey, thanks, I've got your back, now."
Why are we so willing to give money and aide to other countries that ask us, yet deny our own of the same? As a country, we need to make peace with the Vietnam era. Take it out of the closet, shake out the wrinkles of age and neglect, shine the light on reality and truth and make good to our own.
Make us a family again. Only then can we move on as a nation--as one. Only then will we make informed, strong decisions regarding the future of our young people and their involvement in the worldwide family of mankind.
And only then will future generations gain back their patriotism. When they can witness first hand how their country cares for those who care for her. It is a lesson in respect. It is the first step in not repeating the grievous mistakes that were made. Help the Vietnam Vet negotiate a cease-fire within themselves and within their country.
Fund generously Veteran benefits.
WHAT COULD I POSSIBLY ADD!!?? THANKS SUE, and thank you for taking the time to read it, even if you can't remotely understand it. --Bill
Posted by billbenica at 3:40 PM