Saturday, March 08, 2008

Am I a Nut, or....

America, remember it?
The army field manuel lists 19 technics that can be used. It also states very clearly that harsh interrogation is a "poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the (interrogator) wants to hear."
Bush vetoed a Bill today that would of banned water-boarding.
That sends a nice message to the world. Don't you think?
When asked last week what he thought about the possibility of gas rising to $4.00 a gallon by spring, he replied, "I haven't heard that."
Nice to see he is keeping up on things.
Like a kid who knows the summer break is coming soon, he doesn't even have to pretend like he gives a shit anymore.
" A vote against McCane is a vote for the terrorists."
That's what my Dad says anyway.
Really? Hey, if they don't listen to a guy with the middle name of Hussein, who will they listen too? Cause I don't know if you have noticed or not, but the bombs and bullets don't seem to be working.
The Republicans, their philosophy and their programs have absolutely failed in every way.
Every way!
Oil is at an all time high of $104 a barrel.
The Dollar has never been in worse shape and the value of a typical American's home has dropped by 50% in some parts of the country.
We are occupying a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 or had weapons of mass destruction at the cost of a Billion dollars a week while the budget for next year has cut millions of elderly from the drug prescription program and veterans care.
All this done by a man who claims Jesus as his saviour?
I'm not worried about the terrorists who are Muslim. I'm worried about the moral equivalent of war that has been declared on the average American while Bush sleeps at the wheel.
That's what it is too, the moral equivalent of war.
What else can you call it?
When I point this out to Dad, he simply repeats back, "9/11!"
That was seven years ago. If someone had been paying attention to other things just as important as fighting terrorists, we might not be so fucked at the moment.
It didn't work for Rudy, and it simply won't work to blame all our troubles on it anymore.
Who gives a shit about flag pins and experience? Seriously. Rome is burning and people want to make a big deal out of Obama's middle name? Go for it. But when you lose that job and the house payments are getting higher and higher, are you going to yell at the bank, "9/11!"
I don't think so.

Diebold Inc., maker of automated teller machines, security systems and voting machines, was the recent target of an unsolicited $2.63 billion takeover offer from United Technologies Corporation, a leading aerospace defense contractor.
The NY Times editorial board sees a problem with a defense contractor, that has a strong corporate interest in the outcome of presidential elections, having any role in the counting of votes, should the takeover succeed.
Look, call me a conspiracy nut if you want, but in all honesty would you feel comfortable with a company that makes billions of dollars in profit as long as were at war controlling the very tool of Democracy?
Do you know what the actual definition of fascism is? It is the Government and corporations working together. How did the Fascist keep control of the population in days past? Spies, intelligence gathering on it's own citizens and passing laws that enabled the corporations to do what they wanted at the expense of the greater good of the people.
Well, lets see.
We are spying on our own citizens, Corporations get what amounts to welfare on a scale that has never been seen before in the history of the world and the common man, you and I, are getting a $300 check in the mail to stimulate a flagging economy. Just to tell us about this wonderful news, the Government is spending 45 million dollars to send letters out telling us if we qualify for these checks.
Give me a fucking break!
Go to sleep America. American Idol is on soon. Go get a frapachinno down at Starbucks. Relax. We have it under control. Your kids will have less of a chance at the "American Dream" than you did, but it's OK. There will always be the sweet Novocaine of VH1, MTV and FOX.
Look at Brittney and Lindsy. Those crazy kids!
Vote? Why bother.

Friday, March 07, 2008


This is what it has come too?
Our modern society is turning into a bad comedy sketch. In London, people who have been walking and texting at the same time have walked into so many lamp posts that a phone directory service much like our 411 have decided to take action.
They are experimenting with padded lampposts.
Yeah. You read correctly.
Padded lamp posts for people trying to find the right emo-con but instead hit their heads on a post.
A study conducted by the phone directory service, found that one in 10 people has been hurt while focusing on their cell phone instead of where they were walking.
The survey found that almost two thirds of respondents lost peripheral vision while texting, and more than a quarter wanted lines on the pavement to create routes for texters to walk while using their phones.
Lines on the pavement? Like were trying to find the gift shop in a hospital?
If I am texting and walking down the street but not on a blue line, will I get a ticket for texting in the wrong lane? How ridiculous are we going to become? All this communication technology available to us and no one seems any more "available" than before we had all this.

The directory service will provide the padding and allow companies to advertise on them.
That's great marketing. Do you really want people to run into a post, look up and associate your product with an embarrassing moment in public? Aspirin might be the best product to run adds for. Or insurance.
How about this; Hey moron, put the stupid phone down and actually communicate with the people around you!
I speak to people less. When my phone buzzes, it's usually a text message. E-mail is easier to send because why not send something passive aggressive that I don't have to be there for to see your reaction. The other day I got a letter. An actual hand written stamp on the envelope letter. My room mates stood around looking at it in awe like the Nazi's stared at the ark at the end of Indiana Jones. This ended better of course. Still, I told them to keep their eyes closed no matter what.

There is a new product for older people who don't want the hassle of "buying an expensive and hard to learn computer." They hook this thing up to their phone and now any e-mail or text their grand kid's send, gets printed out on a large easy to read piece of paper.
We have come full circle.
Still, it better come with an up to date dictionary of terms. What is grandma and grandpa going to make of the letters OMG! printed out in giant letters?

All this technology and the only thing we seem able to do is keep each other at a distance. I am waiting for the day when you can beam a copy of yourself with all your memories and knowledge over to a persons, Communication Room. Something like a digital clone that lives for you in the vast Internet ocean of non-Einstein physics and instant gratification. The Matrix isn't all that far away. Can you see it? I can. At a certain age, you lay down in a sensory deprivation chamber. You are hooked up to the outside world and interact with anyone on the planet in anyway you can imagine. Avatars roaming the uncharted digital universe where anything is possible and everyone is anonymous. Only the poor will walk with actual legs in the actual reality. The rich and famous will live in a new world built exclusively for their whims. People will take vacations entrusting their bodies to technicians for a week as they fly around the fantasy land we are headed for, their bodies nourished intravenously. Maybe even throw some drugs into the mix and you have a future that no longer reaches out to explore the solar system and beyond, but one of intense navel gazing where growing up never has to happen. All you will need is money. That part never seems to change.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Pure San Francisco Moment.

As much as liberals bug the hell out of me, the conservative mindset just boggles me. I am sitting out side at a café in the city. Next to me, a man reads his paper and smokes. Smoking doesn’t bother me as much as it bugs a lot of people in this city. As long as I am up wind or outside, have at it.My cell phone rings. A friend asks me if I have heard about Charlie, the dog from Iraq. Apparently, it is against the uniform code of military justice to keep a pet on base. But since a bunch of Marines took a liking to him, they contacted the SPCA and with some cloak and dagger nonsense and positive PR, the dog was flown to the U.S. to live his life out in freedom. I wish we could say the same for the people of Iraq.

When I get off the phone I can already feel this guy staring a hole into me.
“My father served in the Marines.”
Here we go.
“That’s great.” I say before going back to my notebook.
In classic San Francisco café etiquette, the people around us go silent waiting for the entertainment to start. Café conversations in this town is what NASCAR is to the south. You enjoy them and find them interesting, but if something goes horribly wrong and it ends with sparks and a crash; cool!
“I don’t appreciate what you said.” He tells me looking straight into my eyes.
“You don’t appreciate what? That you overheard my conversation and a fact?”
His eyes narrow and then in a wonderful display of intelligent debate, he blows a huge cloud of cigarette smoke into my face. I don’t cough. I’m use to it. The two women I have lived with were both chain smokers and most of the places I do comedy in allow you to smoke. I just stare back and say, “I will take your second hand smoke if you take my second hand knowledge.”
A guy a few tables away giggles slightly and a girl not really reading a book since this started smiles widely.
He makes a big theatrical production out of folding his Wall Street Journal up before storming off.
I don’t appreciate what you said.
What is supposed to be my reply to that? Sorry, stranger I have offended without knowing it. Teach me to ignore facts and shape my beliefs to the agenda you are willing to defend in the face of overwhelming proof.
It always starts the same with these guys too. It’s either, I was in the military or my father was in the military or my son is in the military. Great. I have never said anything negative about military service. My brother was in the Army.
Starting a conversation about the war by saying, my father was in the military, is not only a cheap way to attempt grabbing the moral high ground, it is the equivalent of having a discussion on race where a white guy starts by saying, I have a black friend.
I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.
The girl with the book points to the table he was at and says, “He forgot his phone!”
The guy who giggled walks over to it, picks it up and says, “lets call some place like Iran and leave a message that will sound like code!”
You have to laugh at this idea. We all know there is no such thing as privacy anymore. The FBI just said yesterday that they improperly accessed millions of Americans private data on line in 2006. This would absolutely set off some bells in the basement of the Pentagon.
The man returns though.
He rounds the corner just in time to see the kid holding his cell phone. The guy freaks!
“Thief! Stop Thief!” He starts yelling.
The kid, out of sheer panic, slams it back down on the table and walks backwards inside the café. People on the street are looking around expecting to see a purse-snatcher or armed robbery in progress. All they see is a skinny kid looking like he is shitting his pants in the doorway of a café as a man twice his size and pointing at him runs toward a table.
This is pure NASCAR! Everyone can sense there is about to be a pile up.
Then, fate, karma, the Universe, whatever intervenes in a bit of poetic justice.
He trips!
Don’t worry. The guy is fine. He is a smoker so it wasn’t like he was moving very fast to begin with anyway.
Me and a few other strangers go to his side. A guy oblivious to any of the drama that happened a minuet ago offers his hand to the man.
“Get your fucking hands off me!” The man yells.
The potential Good Samaritan first looks hurt then pissed.
“God damn homeless shit!” He says.
You have love that too. In San Francisco, you can be black, gay, transgender or whatever. But the two worse things you can call someone is homeless or meter maid.
As our disgruntled conservative gets back to his feet and sees his phone sitting on the table, he yells out at the complete stranger who attempted to come to his aid. “Faggot!”
Well, you can’t yell that in front of a café in San Francisco and expect no reaction.
Unless you are one.
I can’t be sure, but I think that’s how the gay pride parade starts.
Now, everyone freaks and this stranger to our city realizes what he has just done.
A woman, a lesbian holding a recyclable Whole Foods shopping bag, turns to him and asks, “What did you just say?”
His eyes go wide.
She puts the grocery bag down, puts her hands on her hips and repeats herself. “What did you just say?”
Oh this is far better than anything I could of wished on him.
He starts to stutter. The guy he originally yelled at, the kid in the doorway and a few other café patrons are all looking at him. Meanwhile, the phone still sits on the table by an empty coffee cup and I am smiling like a man about to enjoy an ass hole getting a beat down from a lesbian.
That’s when his phone rings.
Want to guess what his ring tone is?
The mission impossible theme! Seriously. The mission impossible theme!
Oh the Universe has a sense of humor indeed. I tip my hat to you, sir!
I laugh and so do a few of the other people.
“That’s my phone.” He manages to say.
The lesbian picks it up and throws it into the middle of the street. All that softball has really paid off too, because it is out there in the middle of traffic going the other way.
She just smiles that smile of, what are you going to do big man? Besides, there are about 5 or 6 people surrounding him now. What is he going to do?
He just turns and leaves as the small crowd that has gathered breaks into spontaneous applause.
God I love this city!

Let's Just Sue What We Don't Like!

Are you sitting down? You might want to get some smelling salts ready too.
The creator of the weather channel, friend to shut-in’s and the elderly, is thinking about suing Al Gore.
Not only does he think Global warming is a fraud, but he also sees no reason for people to cut back on their energy consumption.
I’m surprised the Bush administration doesn’t want to sue the Discovery Channel because they think evolution is a fraud.
This could start a bad wave of lawsuits.
Neo-Nazis could sue the History Channel for Documentaries on the Jewish extermination because they think the Holocaust didn’t happen.
Can I sue CNN for the election results if I don’t like them?
Dude, this is retarded!
Go Google Island nations disappearing, or Artic Ice cores demonstrating levels of pollution going through the roof at the start of the Industrial revolution.
Holy Shit, man!
Even if you believe that our warming planet is going through some normal cycle, blasting tons of toxic shit into the air we breath can’t be a good idea. Cutting back on fossil fuel use would be welcomed by anyone with asthma. Oh, and NO scientist thinks this is normal. Sure, you hear names and impressive sounding institutes in the news every once in a while that says the proof isn’t all in yet. When you dig a little into them though, they all turn out to get their funding from oil companies.
When 90% of all the energy created on this planet comes from fossil fuels, it’s not a conspiracy to say that the 5 largest oil & coal companies have a vested interested in telling us they have nothing to do with climate change.
Do you know what happens when you go to the beach in San Francisco these days?
You get a tan.
That’s just not normal.
I’m surprised the Weather Channel isn’t being sued by sleeping pill manufactures. It has to be one of the most boring things on TV.
There use to a local TV station that would broadcast nothing else on Christmas day but 12 hours of a log burning in a fire place.
No lie.
People would turn it on and drink eggnog around it. Isn’t the Weather Channel really just the equivalent of that?
My Dad sits in a plastic lawn chair two inches from the TV inside the house and goes back and forth between the Weather Channel and Fox news. He might throw in the occasional Law & Order episode, but not if it has, “The black guy” in it. When you talk to him, you have to remember that those are the only two sources of information he trusts. It will make any conversation with him make more sense once you know this.
“Dad, you and Mom thinking of moving again?”
“You see how gays want to be married like regular people? My God! It’s 23 degrees in North Dakota. The surge hasn’t gotten enough credit in the liberal media for working. They expect snow in Missouri this week. Who would vote for a guy named, what is it? Barak? Lots of flooding on the east coast…”
“It’s Barrack, Dad.”
"It’s Barrack Obama.”
“Mexicans are coming into this country like an invasion. Texas hasn’t had rain in nearly two months.”
“Do you blame the Mex-i-Can’s, for that too, Dad?”
And so it goes at the Klocek Homestead.

You know who else is being sued for 23 Million dollars in a class action lawsuit?
The makers of Airborne.
Turns out, it doesn’t work!
Yup. The Center for disease control thought the claims were exaggerated and started doing tests. Sure, there is placebo effect, but the fact is, it doesn’t do what it claims to do.
I am going to sue the CDC because I think it does. After all, a schoolteacher made it. What better proof do you want? Made by a schoolteacher? That’s how you want to market it? Just because you’re around colds all day doesn’t make you an expert in fighting them. Just like owning the weather channel doesn’t make you an expert at weather.
I bet the guy probably believes he owns the weather.
It always amazes me when rich people are so ignorant. They have the benefit of education and wealth and still remain stupid. Whenever I hear about racism, the going to the rallies type of racism; it’s usually some back wood’s red neck that didn’t get education.
That’s just ignorance.
But to have money and education and still be a racist, that’s real hatred.
You can always spot them at the Klan rallies.
They’re the ones wearing sheets with a 300-thread count.

I don’t know if the guy has watched his own channel, but things have changed.
The people who say, it is a demonstration of mans arrogance to think he can have any effect on the planet are nuts! It is always the same people who want to quote you the Bible too. Something about God giving man dominion over the land an animals. If that's true, we really have done a shitty job then.
There are entire rivers made poisonous by industrial waste that we can't drink from.
The EPA created something named, the superfund just to clean up land contaminated by business.
An enormous island of trash twice the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific Ocean somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been growing since the 1950s. The make up of the trash is 80 percent plastic and weighs more than 3.5 million tons.
Apparently, we are having an impact on the planet ! It has to start adding up eventually. If Jesus comes back soon the first thing out of his mouth will be a cough.
The same people who are against stem cell research because all life is precious, are the same ones who see three legged toads by a power plant and go, "that happens."
Yeah. Shit happens. Like when you spend the last 50 years of civilization pumping the atmosphere full of toxins and expect God to just take care of it. Maybe the reason he doesn't talk anymore is because he just can't see us threw all that shit.
That would explain a lot.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

All jokes are not created equal.

A long time ago on a road gig somewhere in Washington State, I was standing in the bathroom after a show when one of the audience members struck up a conversation with me about comedy. As we stood at the sink, more people from the show filed in. At some point, another man listening to our conversation said, “Don’t you think you are taking comedy too seriously?”
I had to swallow the impulse to yell at him. Instead, I asked him, “Do you take your job seriously?”
“I’m unemployed.” He said and left the bathroom.
It is true that you can take your job too seriously. We have all seen the fellow employee that freaks out about everything broadcasting tension in to the general workspace.
But comedy, like anything you do for the money and the love, is a job. You have to take it seriously and sometimes that blows.
I can vividly remember driving to gigs when I did it full time with no other thought in my head than, this gig is for the cell phone bill. Or, this gig is the PG & E bill.
It really sucks the joy out of it.

I have written many times of showing up to gigs I would rather not be at, but because I needed the money I did them. After awhile, you realize how many of these gigs you are doing. You start to see the impact on whatever artistic integrity you thought you had. Playing to drunks who are mad at you because they can’t play Fooz Ball during the show is not exactly the crowd you feel comfortable taking on challenging subject matter.

In a bar in Great Falls, Montana once, I had the experience a lot of us have had. Two guys came up to me at the bar and said they didn’t like what I said about religion.
I don’t remember the joke. It was early in my career so I have no doubt that it was an imperfect attempt at going in the direction I craved.
Bill Hicks, comedy legend and all around idol to any stand-up wishing to expand the definition of comedy, has a classic story about such a situation. After a show, two men approached him in the parking lot.
“We didn’t like what you said about religion.”
He paused, took a breath and asked, “Are you Christians?”
They spit the answer out with naked aggression. “Yes!”
Calmly, right before he walked away he said, “Then forgive me .”

These guys ended up buying me way too many shots of something that night. It ended well. But I remember how upset they were in the beginning. Not at what I had said, but that I had even brought religion up in a comedy show.
This goes to the heart of several issues that fascinate me.
The idea that anything is above being poked fun at is ridiculous. It’s also contrary to what America is supposed to be all about.
I don’t think they had Stand-Up Comedy in mind when they added the first amendment, but I honestly can’t think of a better use of free speech than a talented comic using humor to point out the inconsistencies a lot of people don’t want to see in their "truth". Not just in faith, but on any topic.
Anyone with confidence and dick jokes can make an audience laugh. That’s no secret at all. Hell, the best-written joke will always be blown out of the water with a fart.
What I’m getting at is the, comedy is subjective idea.
Of course it is. I know intelligent, highly skilled people who work as leaders in their industry that love the three stooges. I also know out of work friends who read Noam Chomsky and think Lenny Bruce wasn’t hard enough on society. I personally have a friend and comic that thinks Larry the Cable Guy is amazing! But the plain truth is, not all punch lines are created equal.

Sure a fart is funny, or a song parody or a done to death premise on dogs and cats. But a joke that gets a big laugh on religion or politics is just superior.
It has to be.
In a business flooded by the Larry the Cable Guy-Dane Cook mentality, a joke on tough subject matter that destroys is just better for a hundred obvious reasons.
Judging anything so subjective as comedy is almost an oxymoron. But to say that a guy playing song parodies is in the same category as a guy making you laugh at beliefs you might hold dear is not fair.
But then again, maybe I take this too seriously.
Here are three facts I know are true about comedy:

1.The audience is never wrong.

2.They only laugh at what is funny.

3.People who are in a position of judging should know comedy and know what has been done and what is more difficult to pull off.

I remember doing a few different competitions in my time. I remember losing out to a guy who wouldn’t argue that he was basically doing dating material. That’s not to say that he wasn’t funny or that he didn’t performed it beautifully, but jokes about 9/11 that shed light in places the country was not yet willing to completely look at yet, cannot be judged the same way. Especially if they are both getting laughs.
Did each comic get big laughs?
Did the comics push the envelope successfully?
Well, in my not so humble opinion one of us did and one of us didn’t.

If we are going to make comics compete against each other, then let’s put things in proper perspective. Lets be honest about what is artistic and what is pure entertainment.
I would add one more rule to what I know is the truth in Stand-Up.

4.All jokes are not created equal.

It seems funny to me that I will cite the first amendment, yet I write the sentence, not all things are created equal. It's not something we like to hear, the truth, but comics know it. If they don't, they should. Of course the crowd is going to laugh at dick jokes. They always have! I'm not the first guy do strive for something more out of making people laugh, nor am I the best-but I try. It is so easy to go for the easy laugh or the shock value outrageous laugh. To put something out there in front of a crowd that is part philosophy and part punch line, is a little more difficult.

The Bit, I am probably best known for is the pigeon homeless guy one. It's a good bit. It's clean, funny and gets laughs. But the bits I am most proud of are the ones about religion. I think they are personal to my experience yet universal in there logic too. I think that's a great indicator of a quality joke; will people who do not share the same opinion laugh at it? In the final analysis, if it is a well written well performed joke, they will. They have to. It is constructed so well that there is no other response. Jokes are like little mathematical proofs. 1+1 will always equal 2.
That is probably the mathematical equivalent of a dick joke, 1+1. The algebra of comedy is talking about politics, religion and sex without being dirty. That's the real trick.

So if you ever find yourself in the delicate position of judging comedy, remember that anything about dating, or the phrase, being married is weird, is a red flag that screams EASY! But a joke on something you are not use to hearing about, a joke that gets just as big a laugh as, whats up with black guys doing it one way and white guys doing it another, is simply superior. Think of it like this, those jokes have to work twice as hard as those other jokes.
That's why I am all Animal Farm on this issue; not all jokes are equal.

Fix the System

The former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay said he will now be a defence witness for the driver of Osama bin Laden.
This is a career Air Force Colonel people!
Why would he do such a thing?
Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, resigned in October after being placed under the command of torture advocate William J. Haynes. The idea that America would advocate for human rights all around the world while torturing people is bad enough, but the new chief prosecutor has also rigged the system of military tribunals at Guantanamo.
Hey, don't take my word for it. This is a portion of a conversation between the two men reported in the Nation Magazine and ignored by the media.

“I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process,” Davis continued. “At which point, [Haynes’s] eyes got wide and he said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions."
The guy in charge of prosecuting the people is admitting that the system is fixed.
That is pretty amazing!
You understand what he is saying? Right?
Since we held them without charge and illegally in the eyes of most justice systems around the world, releasing them would be admitting the mistake. Instead of admitting we made a mistake, were going to have fake trials where the men held in cages for the last five years will be executed.
And we have made mistakes.
There is a new book out named, Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo.
Murat Kurnaz, was a 19 year old resident of Germany and citizen of Turkey. Pakistan's security forces, looking for people to sell to American intelligence officers for the $3,000 bounty, picked him up shortly after he was married in Pakistan. German intelligence sources and the CIA knew he was innocent in September 2002. However, even after the German foreign minister spoke to Bush on his behalf, he was held until 2007.
Secret evidence. Denial of habeas corpus. Evidence obtained by waterboarding and indefinite detention is what Murant, and all the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have had to deal with.
His is just one example.
Australia, England and Yemen have also had citizens released to them from our prison on Cuban soil.
Anyone else see the grand irony of criticizing Cuban for human rights violations while we keep people in cages on the same island?
Look, I'm not saying everyone there is innocent, but terrorist or not, we cannot continue to run around the world and tell people from the business end of a gun that we our about Liberty and justice if were going to do something that would be familiar to Joseph Stalin.
We are suppose to be better than that.
Ah hell. Lets argue about flag pins some more.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Lesson We Forgot

Alright class.
Anyone know who President Eisenhower was?
Just for the hell of it, read these speeches and quotes. I know, it's a lot of stuff to read but as you read it remind yourself of a few facts no one debates.

1. He Was the Architect for D-day, the largest combat operation in history that begun the taking back of Europe from the Nazis.

2. He was a Republican.

3. The Military-industrial complex, was his quote given as a warning in his farewell speech to the American people at the end of his Presidency.

4. Think about the stuttering agenda driven speeches filled with fear and hate mongering that have played to the worst of our instincts rather than a true and sincere belief in the wisdom of the American citizen over these last 8 years.

5. A lot of what he warned us about has come to pass.

6. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

I would go a step farther and also say, a people who ignore their nations history will fall for arrogance masquerading as leadership, ignorance disguised as truth, aggression wrapped in the flag, and patriotic fever used as a cheap propaganda weapon against our own best interests.
When we live in a country that thinks, the surge is just a new energy drink, we are ALL in trouble.

Parts of Eisenhower's farewell speech.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology -- global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle -- with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war -- as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years -- I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So -- in this my last good night to you as your President -- I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I -- my fellow citizens -- need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Selected quotes.

The substance of peace is a universal appreciation of human values.”
Speech at Belfast University, August 24, 1945

“We must strive for understanding and be ready to do our part in substituting cooperation for conflict.”
Speech for Freedom House, November 7, 1945

“I know of no more sincere pacifists than American soldiers and veterans.”
Speech to the American Legion, November 20, 1945

“To be strong nationally is not a sin, it is a necessity.”
Speech at American Legion Convention, Chicago, IL, November 20, 1945

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”
Speech at Canada Club, Ottawa, Canada, January 10, 1946

“All must learn that in cooperation there is giving as well as receiving.”
Speech at Canada Club, Ottawa, Canada, January 10, 1946

“Until the peoples of the world understand and respect the interests of their neighbors, the victory will elude us.”
Speech at Canada Club, Ottawa, Canada, January 10, 1946

“I wish we could have an all-volunteer Army.”
Address Over CBS & Associated Broadcast Networks, January 18, 1946

“To remain at peace we must be a strong nation.”
Speech in Connection with Cancer Drive, Washington, DC, April 1, 1946

“In the scientific world the best of yesterday is the obsolete of today.”
Army Day Speech, Chicago, April 6, 1946

“It is the job of the men of the Armed Forces to see that the enemies of humanity cannot again make war.”
Army Day Speech, Los Angeles, April 6, 1946

“Small nations have as much right as large ones to feel secure.”
Remarks at Dinner of Cleveland Aviation Club, April 11, 1946

“The education of the officer never ends.”
Speech for Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College ROTC, April 21, 1946

“We must do all that we can toward progressive disarmament, for which I think we should all pray very sincerely.”
Remarks at General Commission on Army & Navy Chaplains, Washington, DC, April 24, 1946

“The security establishment of our democracy must always remain representative of our way of life.”
American Newspaper Publishers Association, New York City, April 25, 1946

“All must understand that military rank is a recognition of responsibility and not a ration book of personal privilege.”
American Newspaper Publishers Association, New York City, April 25, 1946

“From the time of Washington, American soldiers fighting and dying for this republic have had their inspiration in its championship of liberty.”
Georgia Bar Convention, Savannah, Georgia, May 24, 1946

“The Army of the United States was truly the people of the United States in action.”
Address to Reserve Officers' Association, Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 1946

“The wartime Army of the United States was a mass expression of America.”
>Address to Reserve Officers' Association, Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 1946

“On our future conduct depends the peace of the world for generations to come.”
Address to Reserve Officers' Association, Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 1946

“Soldiers apply an acid test to their officers that only the true leader can survive.”
>Address to Reserve Officers' Association, Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 1946

“War is not only destructive, it is sterile of positive result.”
Address to Reserve Officers' Association, Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 1946

“Our ideal today is a free, prosperous and cooperative world.”
Address to Army Ordnance Association, Detroit, Michigan, June 3, 1946

“The American tradition is to finish whatever we start, however hard the road.”
Material for NBC Address, June 4, 1946

“The freedom of the individual and his willingness to follow real leadership are at the core of America’s strength.”
Address at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont, June 9, 1946

“The purpose of the United Nations is peace.”
Address at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont, June 9, 1946

“Every nation is neighbor to all mankind.”
American Alumni Association, Amherst, Massachusetts, July 11, 1946

“Democracy is essentially a political system that recognizes the equality of humans before the law.”
Address to Constituent Assembly, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 8, 1946

“There is no strength equal to the strength of an enduring friendship.”
Address to Constituent Assembly, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 8, 1946

“The barriers to neighborliness are fear and prejudice spawned by ignorance.”
Address at Veterans Day, Nebraska State Fair, Lincoln, Nebraska, September 1, 1946

“There is no short cut or easy way to lasting peace.”
Address at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, November 1, 1946
“The proudest human that walks the earth is a free American citizen.”
Talk at the Commercial Club of Chicago, May 21, 1948

“To blend, without coercion, the individual good and the common good is the essence of citizenship in a free country.”
Columbia University Inaugural Address, October 12, 1948

“The free individual has been justified as his own master; the state as his servant.”
Commencement Address, Columbia University, June 1, 1949

“There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.”
Commencement Address, Columbia University, June 8, 1949

“Misunderstanding among neighbors is perilous in the atomic age.”
Lecture at Columbia University, March 23, 1950

“Far better to risk a war of possible annihilation than grasp a peace which would be the certain extinction of free man’s ideas and ideals.”
Lecture at Columbia University, March 23, 1950

“The gamble of war lures the desperate, for even overwhelming defeat can hardly worsen their state.”
Lecture at Columbia University, March 23, 1950ont style="font-weight: bold;">

“To prevent the crime of war, all nations and all ideologies can unite without sacrifice of principle.’
Lecture at Columbia University, March 23, 1950

“We reject any insinuation that one race or another, one people or another, is in any sense inferior or expendable.”
Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

“We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”
Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

“To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.”
State of the Union Address, February2, 1953

“We must be devoted with all our hearts to the values we defend.”
State of the Union Address, February2, 1953

“As our heart summons our strength, our wisdom must direct it.”
State of the Union Address, February2, 1953

“The seeds of hate and of distrust can be born on winds that heed no frontier or shore.”
Address to the Organization of American States, April 12, 1953

“No nation’s security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.”
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

“Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.”
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

“We live in an age of peril.”
Radio Address to the American People, May 9, 1953

“The plain truth is that security is planned, not blindly bought.”
Radio Address to the American People, May 9, 1953

A speech given in 1953 to the news paper editors of America.

The way chosen by the United States was plainly marked by a few clear precepts, which govern its conduct in world affairs.

First: No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

Second: No nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.

Third: Any nation's right to form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

Fourth: Any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.

And fifth: A nation's hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.

In the light of these principles the citizens of the United States defined the way they proposed to follow, through the aftermath of war, toward true peace.

What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for if no turning is found on this dread road?

The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated.

The worst is atomic war.

The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point to the hope that comes with this spring of 1953.

Me again class. Remember, he was a man who was in war and knew it's corrosive effect on the human soul and he was a Republican that advocated peace and understanding as the bravest way forward for any Nation.