I recently read a biography about Lewis "Chesty" Puller, one of the most decorated Marines in U.S. history. It was an inspiring read--and I have to say if I'd read this back in high school there's little doubt I would have gone into the Corps either right before or right after college. The guy was at his natural element in a fight, seeing action in Haiti, Nicaragua, the Pacific in WWII and the Korean War, rising to the ranks of Brigadier General. The guy was the total badass--his best quote was upon learning that his regiment was surrounded during the Korean War: "Terrific--those bastards have us just where we want 'em! Now we can attack in any direction." The guy was an inspiration. But now we live in a 2011 America that is about to see a government shut-down caused by nothing more than each party thinking a shutdown can be better blamed on the other. This shutdown means federal workers--including soldiers--missing paychecks. It means the city of D.C. not getting garbage pickup, or DMV services (as D.C.'s budget is still controlled by Congress, despite the tax dollars all being from D.C. residents' income taxes). Of course, it doesn't mean Congressmen missing any pay, thank heavens. Times like this I think the America that produced a legend like Chesty Puller (who fought a good deal of the war against the Japanese while having chunks of shrapnel stuck in his leg) and beat two superpowers at the same time, and stared down a third right after, and ended slavery in the most violent way possible, and decided it would put some of its people on the moon just to prove it could be done--is that the same America that elected the current boobs? I'm ready to go ahead and replace all 536 of them (House + Senate + President) with a pack of baboons (and I can't stand baboons). It'd accomplish about the same, and probably make less mess.