30 April 2008

Thoughts, random or otherwise unimportant

Sometimes when you sit around you just happen to think about whatever pops into your head. I'm sitting here at my desk at work thinking to myself about all these things, and I figure that to get them out I'd just blog about them.

Something that's been on my mind since I arrived here in San Diego is all the Marines that are here receiving medical treatment. I think about the sacrifices that they have made and the places they've been. Then I think about those corpsman that are with them. The ones that are getting shot up and wounded, sometimes killed. The ones coming back with PTSD and they still want to go back out there. The reason that I'm thinking about them is how I've never been on the ground. Sure I was in the gulf for three months on the Comfort when the war first started, taking care of all the Marines and Soldiers, EPWs and civilians wounded. But that doesn't compare with being there. I floated off the coast of Somalia for 4 months doing absolutely nothing, and again floated off the coast of the Phillipines for 5 months, doing pretty much the same. You might ask what I'm getting at. I was Meritoriously advanced to 2nd Class for my innate ability to handle desk work, cure headaches and reduce dislocated shoulders. I have a bronze star on my Sea Service deployment ribbon, while some other 3RD CLASS corpsman have a SILVER star on their COMBAT ACTION ribbon. This kinda tears me up inside. Why was I given the advancement opportunity for doing desk work while guys on the front lines that are getting shot at, taking mortar rounds inside their fencelines and FOBs aren't being offered the same? Was it because I was a standout at my command? The best Third Class on the boat that did pretty much nothing more than his job and nothing else. Sure I maxed out my quals, but thats what any good sailor would do, right? Maybe its just that Corpsman humility thing getting the best of me. Am I really that much better than I think I am? I just don't think that someone who sits 5 miles off the coast and does paperwork should be given another chevron when guys are taking rounds over their heads stuck at the same rate they were when they left. And even after all this I'm still not really excited about going to Iraq(or even Kuwait for that matter) anytime soon. It'll happen soon enough, I'm sure. But thats down the road. The point is that I feel bad for those guys who put their lives on the line everyday are still stuck in a slump of bad advancement, while the guy who was safe got the gold...

Another thing I've been thinking about is politics. I've never been one to really follow politics that much. And I have always wondered about what party I would fall under. Both of my parents are staunch republicans, but are open to vote for the best canidate even if they are not republican(Dad voted for Ross Perot a couple times). So when it came for me to register to vote for the 2004 general election I did so as a republican. But I have always wondered about my party affiliation, so I found a little quiz on Blogthings.com that I took. In the quiz it provided a statement and 5 responses(Strongly Agree, Agree, Not Sure, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree). Here are the statements and my opinions....

1. People have a right to unrestricted gun ownership. Strongly Agree. I believe that Americans have the inherent right to bear arms, as outlined in the Bill of Rights. At the same time I also believe that certain provisions should be in place to prevent arms of any kind falling into the hands of a convicted felon, for example. If guns were outlawed, millions in the US would become criminals overnight. How would we police that? How would people defend themselves?

2. Abortion should be illegal in all cases. Disagree. I believe that abortion should be legal ONLY in the cases of incest, rape, and any condition where the mothers life is in danger if the child is conceived(i.e. ectopic pregnancy).

3. Drugs, including marijuana, should be illegal. Disagree. I believe that Marijuana should be legalized. I am not a pot head by any means, but this is a harmless drug. Alcohol is more toxic to the body than Marijuana is. So treat it like alcohol in the workplace, don't come to work drunk and don't come to work high. And if the governement taxed the shit out of it like they do cigarettes, think about how much more millions of dollars would be infused into the national budget. All other drugs should remain illegal.

4. Taxes should be lowered for all income brackets.Strongly Agree. This is a no-brainer. Who likes paying taxes anyway?

5. Marriage is only for a man and a woman. Gay people should not be allowed to get married. Disagree I'm not a homophobe. Nor am I gay myself. I'm kinda middle of the road on the whole gay rights thing. I do believe, however, that if two people love each other, why shouldn't they be allowed to get married? I'm not religous either, so you can't throw the whole Bible thing at me.

6. Social security should be replaced with private accounts. Not Sure I'm not 100% up-to-date with the whole Social Security thing. I know it's a depression-era system that is poorly funded and way out-of-date. Not sure if private accounts are the way to go though. Maybe you should just take "a system" away and let everyone manage their own retirement benefits.

7. Stem cell research is unethical. Strongly Disagree I strongly believe that any research that has the potential to yield life-saving results and cures for Cancer, Parkinsons, and any other disease is worth it.

8. We need to stay the course in Iraq. Pulling out is not an option. Not Sure As a member of the Armed Forces, this is a touchy subject all around. In the beginning I thought that we should stay. Three years down the line...I'm not so sure anymore. Too many have died and I think it's turning into another Vietnam.

9. Parents should be able to choose between competing schools for their kids with vouchers. Not Sure I'm not even 100% sure what this is about...

10. Oil companies should be left alone to run their businesses as they choose. Disagree I think International political bodies should be placing caps on how much they can charge for gas... I think prices are getting ridiculously out of hand.

And I scored 47% Republican, 53% Democrat...No wonder I'm going to vote for Obama!!!!