I Propose Americans Wear Gas Pumps on Veteran’s Day

Poppy, Northern New Mexico

In the Commonwealth of Nations, the people get to wear poppies on Remembrance Day. I’m jealous. Poppies are beautiful.

In the United States, we get military glorification and propaganda. I don’t know how many marches and war stories we’ve endured over the years. This is not fair.

I think Americans need their own symbolic lapel pin for Veteran’s Day. I propose it be a gas pump.

The poppy pin idea came from a truly great poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae. The story goes that he wrote it in a moment of inspiration while looking at poppies on a World War I battlefield. He crumpled it up and threw it in the trash, I believe in my heart because he probably thought people would understand that it’s subversive (if so, he overestimated people). Anyway, his fellow soldiers rescued it from the trash. It became a hit, and people bought poppies with proceeds going to help veterans and their families.

I have nothing against veterans. It’s not usually their fault they wound up in the military. We have recruiters in our high schools, lying to the kids. I used to be a schoolteacher. I know how this works.

The veterans helped the government fight their oil wars, and the government should take good care of them. That’s that.

The problem is the government isn’t doing that. So I think we should sell gas pump pins to help support them.

I got the gas pump idea from the poppy pins. I snicker a bit when I see them pass through my Twitter feed on November 11. Do they even realize what they’re wearing? I mean, opiates are made from poppies.

McCrae knew that because he was a doctor. On the battlefield, opiates are mercy.

Except when the battlefield is your bathroom, where your niece is shooting up to get through the Thanksgiving stress of dealing with horrifically judgmental people who are supposed to love her.

If you don’t know by now that your government is bringing in the drugs that are killing people, you need to learn your history. I don’t blame you — like I said, I was a schoolteacher and I know how this works. Your history books are full of truth omissions and outright lies.

Right now we’re having an “opioid crisis” in the US. This is the result of a convergence of happenings, like the “crack epidemic” of the 1980s. First, in the 1990s, the pharmaceutical companies started using their pushers, I mean pharma salespeople, to peddle long-lasting opiate drugs to clinics for the relief of chronic pain. In the early 2000s, a “hillbilly heroin” epidemic was recognized. Surprise, surprise.

Then we got hit with wave upon wave of poppyganda. The result was that, fed also by almost everyone’s experiences either firsthand or secondhand with addiction, the people of the United States demanded the prohibition of painkillers, and the government acquiesced. How thoughtful of them. It makes post-surgery a whole lot of fun. Thanks, guys!

While people with legitimate chronic pain from diseases I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy are being denied relief, which is a humanitarian crime according to the UN, overdoses are skyrocketing.

Now, why would that be happening?

Why, it’s simple economics, dear reader. Supply and demand.

Opium has been used as a weapon of warfare for a long time. McCrae would have known it, and that’s why I think the poem is subversive.

Wars are about money, not defeating the bad guys. I think McCrae knew this, too. Also subversive.

So while Commonwealth Nations wear their ironic lapel pins, I think we should, too. They’ve got the drug trade covered, so we need to do our part and take on the oil trade. It’s only fair.

How many countries have we destroyed for oil? Lives ruined or lost here and abroad? I don’t know, but they should be remembered.

I’ve made a handy-dandy template for your pins:

Simply print them, cut them out, stick pins through them, and maybe add yellow ribbons if you’re feeling creative. Go to your local Veteran’s Day parade and set up a booth with a sign that says, “Buy a pin. All proceeds go to veterans!”

Then go down to your nearby VFW and pass out the money, like a good patriot.


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Nov 13, 2018 9:35 PM

Robert Laine
Robert Laine
Nov 13, 2018 10:23 PM
Reply to  Kathy

In 4 minutes he says it all. Hopefully the younger generation gets the message from this rap artist that they don’t get from the MSM.

Nov 12, 2018 10:58 PM

I have nothing against veterans. It’s not usually their fault they wound up in the military.

It seems to me very sad that the author writes this. Mean, that service in the army of the country can be the “fault”(!) of a person.

I think in a normal (healthy) society service in the army is a special, honorable occupation. A special mission to protect the country. This applies to any country – large or small, western or eastern, young country, or a country with a thousand-year history.

Defenders of the Motherland are respected members of society, they have well-deserved social benefits.
The military is literally the elite of the country, the elite of society. But, probably, in order to be perceived as such, the military must do a good thing. Call it banality, or a primitive simplification, but this is about “a struggle on the side of the forces of good, against the forces of evil”. It is about being on the right side of history.

Of course, I don’t know the specifics of service in the American army and about the attitude of American society to military service. This is a completely alien area to me. But why does the author of the article call service in the American army a “fault” of a person? Probably because the author understands that his army is doing something wrong, something terribly wrong. In the past century, such an understanding resulted in mass civil protests and rallies in the US, which significantly influenced the termination by the US authorities of the terrible war in Vietnam.

Nowadays, not even the facts of multiple US aggression around the world (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.) themselves are sad and awful, but the fact that, it seems, in American society there is no more passion for influence on their own authorities. The crimes of the American authorities occur with the silent consent of society. And this is what scares the most.

Robert Laine
Robert Laine
Nov 12, 2018 5:10 PM

Many thanks, Hope, for this excellent essay.

I ask myself why there is not more outrage and movements to stop killing people abroad (not to mention Afro-American victims of police shootings at home). Perhaps, unlike Vietnam which was a problem for the military and government with pesky journalists showing the horrors of war, the military now keeps them away from the action and the MSM is quite helpful in toeing the military/government/ruling class line. Also vets against that war helped end it but now we have mercenaries/contractors paid to do most of the job and not complain.

So what can we do? Your suggestion is a good one to get people to understand one of the key causes and continuation of wars today. The money trail will also lead to other culprits such as arms dealers and service providers to bases. On a personal level everyone can do their part as you did in the clever yellow ribbon caper. I was supposed to Skype my grandkids on Sunday morn (Melbourne time) but my 8 year old grandson was marching in a local Remembrance Day parade with his other grandfather, a former vet. Remembering the sacrifices of vets “lest we forget” is important as long as it does not perpetuate warmongering as you and others have pointed out. In January on a visit I got creamed as a terrorist by my grandson in a video game. My hope is that he grows out of this thrill of violence as I did. Will do my best to help enlighten him before he enlists.

Your writing and that of others is crucial in waking up people to the real world of war, prisons, history of indigenous people and whatever issue you select in the future. Please keep at it (have you thought about sponsorship on Patreon?). Looking forward to your next essay.

Nov 11, 2018 3:27 PM

Here in the UK we have BBC radio this morning associating those who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2 with the continuance of our brave servicemen and women serving abroad routine in “defence of our nation”. They are not remembering the insanity and waste of WW1 nor are they remembering those who fought against the Nazi threat. They are deliberately promoting this ongoing aggressive militaristic behaviour as if there is some kind of natural progression from one to the other and in so doing trying to normalise what now amounts to war crimes against those who do not bend to “western values”. Insidious behaviour by the BBC.

Brian Eggar
Brian Eggar
Nov 11, 2018 10:52 AM

Perhaps an easier way and that is to pin a dollar bill to your lapel.

After all, a;; wars are about money.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Nov 11, 2018 9:12 AM

Excellent Hope, thanks for this. Way down here in Australia, there is also much jingoistic militaristic sentimentality. Plans for the War Memorial in Canberra to be greatly expanded, amongst ongoing rose tinted guff in the media, without the grisly bits of course, by the same maggot slime that push the fraudulent Russiagate crap, and post lots of bad news (read propaganda) stories about how awful the Chinese Govt is, or how evil Putin is. All in the utterly craven service of the Anglo Zionist Empire. And the Doomsday Clock sits at 2 mins to midnight. Continuous warnings by people like Stephen Cohen are ignored, or just swept under the carpet. Most people don’t want to know. Most people can’t comprehend how dangerous the situation has become. Comment on ABC Facebook News, and your comment is either fully ignored or you are branded a Russian troll.YES – its really good to comment here amongst fellow travellers, but there are organisations of like minded people out there also.

Nov 11, 2018 9:04 AM

Yes here in Australia, wearing poppies and poppy pins on Remembrance Day – a day not usually celebrated in this country, at least not until this year – has been promoted ad nauseam for the past week.

Instead of wearing poppies on Remembrance Day, we should be injecting their by-products into our veins … in remembrance of all the people whose lives have been destroyed by the opium trade that was revived in Afghanistan after the US-led invasion of that country in late 2001.

Nov 11, 2018 10:26 AM
Reply to  Jen


I should think any true ANZAC, should on balance of Remembrance of both wars, where the unbowed and undefeated ‘Rats of Tobruk’ were sent straight into Japanese captivity …mostly to die on the Thai-Burma (Death) railway (every sleeper a gravestone). To add insult to injury, the ANZACs were blamed for the Fall of Singapore. I should think, in memory of Mr Churchill. the pom-apologists who are handing them out – should be reminded were they could stick their ‘poppyganda’ pins …most deeply and most roughly.

Respect to the ANZACs, the Sikhs, the other Indian Brigades, the Ghurkas, the Polynesians, the Canadians, the Scots (the 51st Highlanders abandoned in France), the Welsh, the Irish and anyone I’ve forgotten …but Allied Central Command (in both wars) used them all as cannon fodder. Brave men and women commanded by (WASP) racists, exceptionalists, and supremacists. Never again.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Mulga Mumblebrain
Nov 13, 2018 2:38 AM
Reply to  BigB

Austfailia has become a willing stooge and accomplice of Thanatopia since WW2. We happily joined the genocides in Korea, Indochina, Afghanistan and Iraq, and our political scum would wet themselves with ecstasy if ordered to join in ‘obliterating’ Iran. Our generous Zionazi billionaires would expect no less.

Nov 11, 2018 5:48 AM

BREAKING! Zakharova Drops Truth Bombs on U$A — to Be Held Accountable for Syria!


Yankees, wear your Gas Pump stickers with pride. What a pity we in the British Empire, after Dear Lord Rothschild’s highly successful Mesopotamian Campaign of !914, landed up with its feeble Poppy instead of Uncle $cam’s proud: “We kicked their Ass and took their Gas”.

But with St.Theresa and her miracle Novijoke on the job, there’s still hope for FUKZU$A to kick Syrian Ass and take Syrian Gas. And Iranian ass and Iranian gas.

And soon with NATZO’s “irresistible armed might”, the tanks of the entire EU$A will be riding over Russia with their bumper stickers: Hey Ivan, we kicked your ass and took your gas”.

So what is Zakharova on about?

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Nov 11, 2018 9:49 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Vexarb: will check out the Zakharova clip. Excellent comments by you; like how you go Uncle $cam, NATZO, EU$A, etc. Excuse my lapse of naivety and pie in the sky thinking here….. But I wish more people would wake the hell up, and open their bloody eyes to what’s right in front of them. Harold Pinter nailed it in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech…. Just skim read Pinter’s speech then, particularly the role of the biggest terrorist rogue state on the planet.

Nov 11, 2018 6:04 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezzah Potts, Thank you but my feeble efforts pale before those of a real writer like Pinter. His Nobel Prize Oration was not only a courageous indictment — before the Royal Family — of the Public Lie (as practised in Sweden also) but a fine piece of writing: “Even while it was happening, it was not happening”. However, fine writing butters no parsnips. It is up to a multitude of more detailed, more patient, more exact, more fully documented Truthers to build up the solid reef of evidence against which the Titanic Public Lie will crash.

I have just finished “War and Peace” where Tolstoy writes in his own persona: Napoleon was merely an insanely ambitious criminal; it was the silly people who believed in his military genius who turned him into an Evil Genius of Destruction (including the Self-Destruction of his own country). Those same silly people still live in towns with a Gare d’Austerlitz and / or a Place Napoleon and / or a Rue Napoleon and / or an Arc de Triomphe. Or a Cenotaph. Or a Vietnam Memorial, or a 911 Memorial.

No wonder Tolstoy gave up politics for religion. Solzhenitsyn likewise. “The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You”. Until more people Live in Truth there will be more “insanely reckless criminals” like Napoleon and (in WW1) King George V (“Lord Grey, You’ve got to get us into this War), AZC tools Lloyd George (“We must capture Jerusalem”) and Churchill (“I have set Three Middle Eastern Kings upon their Thrones”) to play Judas-goat leading the Sheeple to self destruction.

Nov 11, 2018 5:31 AM

Hope K – great post. Thank you for pointing out the absolute hypocrisy of we the American public.

The mindless celebration of the U.S. military is everywhere in America. From commercials for beer and very big pickup trucks to football halftimes and holiday parades my U.S. is one big freaking armed madhouse in love with the military. “Support our troops” is the mindless slogan that Americans repeat endlessly so as to evade thinking about what “our troops” might actually be up to on their latest invasion or occupation. Even so called “progressive Americans” if such a species can be said to really exist, bow before the military god and his foot soldiers in media and pulpits across the land. No one seems to think to ask what possible “honor” could exist in being paid to travel to foreign lands where one will then slaughter people of color who have never harmed you. Perhaps the question is never asked because the answer is all to obvious.

I think it only right to “honor all people of integrity.” Killing the poor in faraway lands as a mindless servant of blood soaked capitalism is hardly an “honorable” undertaking – nor one that possesses anything resembling moral or ethical “integrity.” Simply thinking or god forbid having the temerity to point out this rather basic moral equation is heresy here in the U.S. – where our “exceptionalism” as mass murderers is so deeply and almost subconsciously ingrained in the collective American psyche.

The pro-military propaganda is everywhere. The U.S. Army recruiting slogan is: “be all you can be – join the Army” – the unspoken backstory of course is that you will of course become a war criminal in the process of “being all you can be.” Another favorite slogan of the military machine is “freedom isn’t free” the subliminal message being that “freedom” comes from killing poor people in far away places who pose no threat to you whatsoever. We LOVE mindless slogans like this in America. So much easier to feel arrogant, superior, exceptional and feel compelled to resort to ruthless violence than to ever actually engage in trying to understand the world and our history.

Regarding your “gas pump” pin idea (I love it) – some time ago in response to the inane “yellow ribbon magnets” that were everywhere during the first Gulf War and before America’s second invasion of Iraq, I had designed and printed (just before the second invasion) magnets shaped similarly to the “yellow ribbon” magnets, but mine depicted black oil wells gushing red blood into the air with the phrase “no blood for oil” printed underneath. As you might imagine even those few fellow Americans who saw them and agreed with the anti-war sentiments expressed were often afraid to put them on their cars for fear of retaliation from the largely war-mad population – this ironically while living here in the land of “free speech” and the “home of the brave.”

Hope K
Hope K
Nov 11, 2018 7:54 AM

😁 I would have put the magnet on my car. Sounds great! When I was a youngun, I snuck out my window in the middle of the night, stole people’s yellow ribbons, and tied them to gas pumps. Good times! I just found this article about WWI and the drug trade: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xdvnd3/holland-was-the-worlds-biggest-coke-manufacturer

Nov 11, 2018 5:40 PM
Reply to  Hope K

“When I was a youngun, I snuck out my window in the middle of the night, stole people’s yellow ribbons, and tied them to gas pumps.” – I love it! What a great image.

Brutally Remastered
Brutally Remastered
Nov 16, 2018 5:18 PM

Depressingly, I believe it is the triumph of sentimentality into every facet of US life, culture and discourse that is to blame. If you need a kickstart look at anything concerning israel and it’s chosen few for a charge. This is where it has come from and where it is, ultimately aimed.

Nov 11, 2018 5:23 AM

John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” a great poem? You’ve got to be kidding. I hated it in the 50’s when we had to memorize it in elementary school and hate it more now (especially for the vile 3rd stanza.) Couldn’t you have chosen something by Wilfrid Owen or Siegfried Sassoon that would have been more appropriate

Nov 11, 2018 5:55 AM
Reply to  Punnoval

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1872 – 1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Hope K
Hope K
Nov 11, 2018 8:48 AM
Reply to  Punnoval

You think that’s bad?! Try reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every morning for 12+ years. Tell me your favorite poem.

Nov 11, 2018 10:59 AM
Reply to  Hope K

How about:

“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.”

Only, you never made it off the troop ship, did you Rupert?
Perhaps if you had seen your men die one by one, or all at once, at Gallipoli …you might have revised your maudlin sentiment?

Perhaps to a bittersweet reminisce, such a Rosenberg’s “The Return”:

” But hark! Joy—joy—strange joy.
Lo! Heights of night ringing with unseen larks:
Music showering on our upturned listening faces.

Death could drop from the dark
As easily as song—
But song only dropped,
Like a blind man’s dreams on the sand
By dangerous tides;
Like a girl’s dark hair, for she dreams no ruin lies there,
Or her kisses where a serpent hides.”

Or the finality of a release that would never release those who fought – such as Sassoon’s “Everyone Sang”:

“Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.”

In a few minutes time (on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), that “wordless song” will undercut the militaristic fanfares and faux-camaraderie as the eternal song of peace …whose singing will never be done.

Nicholas Riley
Nicholas Riley
Nov 11, 2018 11:26 AM
Reply to  Punnoval

The vile third stanza? But think, to whom is he referring when he talks of the foe? Is it the Germans, or could it possibly those who sent them to die?

Fair dinkum.
Fair dinkum.
Nov 11, 2018 2:09 AM

A gas pump?
Perhaps a Geiger counter would/will be more expedient Hope.
The future beckons with a bloody hand.