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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Notes to the World

Growling at the world helps to maintain one's sanity. In my case, that requires a lot of growling.

NOTE TO OSAMA BIN LADEN: Your father had 10 wives and 52 children. You have five wives (including a first cousin) and have fathered 24 children. You're on a quest to destroy western civilization and kill every non-Muslim on this planet because they don't measure up to your moral standards. You're a self-centered, greedy pig, more so than the greediest capitalist imaginable. Calling you a slime bag would be an insult to bags of slime.

NOTE TO RELIGIOUS FANATICS: Creating mortal enemies out of everyone who doesn't subscribe to your particular religious philosophy is insane. The road to paradise (heaven, nirvana, the happy hunting ground or wherever your religion promises to send you in the next life, if it even exists) is not attainable if you create misery in the carnal world. If you must have blind faith in a belief system, pick one that teaches tolerance and kindness.

NOTE TO SUICIDE BOMBERS: Your task is too important to chance failure. You should test your bombs first, in an isolated location so no one can see, to make sure they work properly. Strap the explosive on tightly and let it rip. Be sure to put some cotton in your ears first -- you don't want to impair your hearing.

NOTE TO FRANCE: It's not surprising you wouldn't help us rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein. After all, you didn't help us get the Germans out of France. Your condescending attitude isn't exactly appreciated by those who must come to your rescue whenever your eastern flank is penetrated. There are other war strategies besides run, hide, surrender or collaborate. The next time there's a war in Europe, the loser should be forced to keep France.

NOTE TO SMOKERS: Secondhand smoke is responsible for 53,000 deaths annually. Feel free to kill yourself in private but keep your filthy smoke out of public places. Replacing fresh air with toxic fumes isn't appreciated by those of us who breathe. And stop littering the ground with your butts. The world is not an ashtray.

NOTE TO YOUNG PEOPLE: Older Americans have borrowed money from future generations, which you will be required to pay off, to cover excessive governmental expenditures from which they benefited at your expense. You, and every child born in America today, are $30,000 in debt. Wake up and do something about it.

NOTE TO THE U.S. CONGRESS: Money doesn't grow on trees. You spend too much, more than you take in, and taxes are too high. The only thing you do efficiently is raise your own salary. Government is not a charity, we can do without the social engineering and we don't need to be the world's self-appointed police force. Your job is to fix the roads and ensure the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- nothing more, nothing less.

NOTE TO PRESIDENT BUSH: Stop the smirk. Every time you complete a sentence in a public speech you pause and grin at the audience as if you just said something clever or profound. You're rarely clever and never profound. That smug grim makes you look like a jerk. You're talking to adults, not third graders -- act like it.

NOTE TO U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ADVISORS: World War II ended in 1945; let's pull out of Germany and Japan. The Korean War ended in 1953; let's pull out of South Korea. We have military bases around the world. It's extremely costly and bad for foreign relations. Defense means defense of the homeland, not deployment.

NOTE TO U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL: Freedom is worth fighting for. This country is forever grateful for your commitment and sacrifice. Keep your powder dry and your nose to the wind.

NOTE TO HUMANITY: We're all stuck on an overcrowded planet, trying to survive from day to day the best we can. Every day we're faced with choices: whether to be helpful, whether to be hurtful or whether to mind our own business. Since the destiny of our eternal soul may well depend on our actions, choose wisely.

Growling at an insane world in order to maintain one's sanity is like taunting a grizzly bear in order to maintain one's manhood. There's little to be gained and plenty to lose. It merely adds to the insanity.

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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at bret@centurytel.net.