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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in At TMV, Economy, Education, Health, Politics, Science & Technology, Society, War | 40 comments

Why America’s Future Security Rests On Its Extraordinary Resources & Not A Mighty Military


As almost anyone with a comprehensive world view well knows, America’s future lies not in having the mightiest military but in marshaling its extraordinary assets — its people, its infrastructure and its renewable resources — to assure a more secure 21st century.

That the wonks at Foreign Policy magazine recognize that reality in publishing a paper titled “A National Security Narrative” is no surprise. Nor is it surprising that the Obama administration has pretty much merely paid lip service to this view, while Congress in general and Republicans in particular are galloping off in the other direction and madly gobbling up America’s seed corn as funding for education, infrastructure and alternative energy is held hostage and the biggest megaphones are held by mainstream media-enabled crackpots.

The subtext of the paper, which was written not by left-leaning day dreamers but with the help of two members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (that’s not a hip-hop group), is that it does no good be the world’s sole superpower “that billions of people around the world have learned to hate from fear of our military might. We seek instead to be the nation other nations listen to, reply on and emulate out of respect and admiration.”

That such a view is so commonsensical but in the eyes of too many people so radical is a sad commentary on what the U.S. has become at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century — a nation that is getting the fundamentals wrong.

But try telling Tea Party crybabies, birthers or Christianists, as the paper’s authors do, that the key to the future is not more aircraft carriers and saber rattling, but intellectual capital:

“By investing energy, talent, and dollars now in the education and training of young Americans — the scientists, statesmen, industrialists, farmers, inventors, educators, clergy, artists, service members, and parents, of tomorrow — we are truly investing in our ability to successfully compete in, and influence, the strategic environment of the future. Our first investment priority, then, is intellectual capital and a sustainable infrastructure of education, health and social services to provide for the continuing development and growth of America’s youth.”

How can the defeatists and seed corn gobblers be brought around to this view before it’s too late?

While the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in 1957 was a wake-up call that reverberated through government, education and society for years thereafter, it is difficult to image a similar cathartic event today. The fact that China is building an extraordinary high-speed train system while the U.S. dawdles? Nah. The fact that the gap between rich and poor in the U.S. grows ever wider? Nah. That the U.S. is dropping far behind other developed countries in key quality-of-life indicators? Nah.

What do you think it will take?

* * * * *

Click here to go to a page with a link to the “A National Security Narrative” (.pdf).

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • Shaun Mullen said “But try telling Tea Party crybabies, birthers or Christianists, as the paper’s authors do, that the key to the future is not more aircraft carriers and saber rattling, but intellectual capital”
    —–
    Funny, I’m a Christian working with a Tea Party, and I consistently support ending our wars, cutting back our military, and foreign bases. I’ve argued with a few, more liberal commentators (such as E. J. Dionne) here about why these wars are a bad idea. It’s a good idea to fight your enemies, instead of labeling potential allies as enemies.

    In fact, you’ll find that the people most consistently against policing the world are Libertarians. Ron Paul is often labeled an extreme right-winger, but there’s not a Democratic president yet that doesn’t look like a war hawk compared to him.

    Your beef is with world cop lovers.

  • Indefatigably

    I find it amusing, to say the least, that one of the most liberal OP’s at TMV would lament what is basically the reduction in US industrial might.

    This is because it is mainly due to anti-business policies pushed by the Left to punish corporate America for its ‘obscene profits’ starting in the 60’s, coupled with the desire to increase direct governmental control over the means of production, that has helped make us so less competitive in the new global market-based world.

    And you cannot have it both ways. Are we the only superpower, or are we a faded empire eclipsed by China, Russia and soon other countries as well?

    I will agree that we need to force our allies to take over their share of their own national defenses, to not be the military of other countries, only ours.

    But first and foremost, we have to convince a goodly portion of America that commerce is not a dirty word, but excessive governance is.

  • DLS

    Conservative-bashing is BS. “Investment” [sic; EXPENDITURES] by government, and which government, incidentally? guarantee nothing.

    As for gutting the military (to waste money on other things as so many liberals want to do), well, at least it wasn’t military-bashing this time, not while liberals exult at the death of somebody (bin Laden), something they ordinarily look down upon with contempt.

    “Investment” [sic] — BS language. What kind of people like it?

  • superdestroyer

    The idea that the U.S. will be a great country by basing its entire economy on teachers and social workers fund by extremely high taxes on those scientist, industrialists, farmers, inventors if laughable,

    Progressives have been quiet clear in stating that there is no place in the U.S. for middle class private sector employed families. There is only room for a small elite at the top and a massive underclass (the check writers and the check receivers of the welfare state).

    The U.S. has double spending on education, after inflation, since 1970 and had zero measurable benefits. Education has been such a dismal investment that progressive now argue that it is racist to even measure educational outcomes.

    In reality, demographics have already set the path of the U.S. in the future and the journey will not be pleasant for most Americans. Instead of discussing the pipe dreams to elite coastal whites, the U.S. just needs to face its demographic situation and decide what is achievable in the real world.

  • DLS

    Where are the wind turbines in your photo of the American Vision, Shaun? Are they kept away because they’re eyesores and many object to the visual blight and the noise even more than the insufficiency of them as a source of electricity generation? [grin]

  • Dave Hemmann

    ProfElwood says:
    May 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Shaun Mullen said “But try telling Tea Party crybabies, birthers or Christianists, as the paper’s authors do, that the key to the future is not more aircraft carriers and saber rattling, but intellectual capital”

    Prof

    I’d be happy to see a single link to where birthers and christianists have called for a real reduction is defense spending. I don’t believe you can site a single instance, and it’s quite clear that such reductions have never entered the national debate as a talking point for the Right. You may believe our wars are superfluous, but that idea is not to be found in the lobbyist driven “Tea Party” movement.

    As to the other righties here who are so quick to find Shaun’s statement so wrong and distasteful, perhaps you could provide a link that supports your premise we must be the cops in the world. Two members of the joint Chiefs of Staff produced the underlying premise to reduce our authoritarian foot print in the world, but as usual, I hear nothing from you but the usual elitist as devil castigation.
    To date, the ,public position of those on the right has been to reduce help to lazy unemployed, sick, and elderly, while increasing income to just the top few percent of the population.

    How many bases are you calling for closure, how many new fangled weapons contracts are you going to terminate, how many medical vouchers are you going to give returning injured soldiers? Your rhetorical hysteria really grows tiresome and downright pathetic as long as your criticism of the left is made sans any published, rational alternative. I don’t know whose time you waste more, yours or mine…

  • JSpencer

    Some people really, really, really need to have the concept of “seed corn” explained to them. They should also be required to study Aesop’s “The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg” (no, it’s not just for children anymore). Maybe then they’ll start to get a glimmering of what this is all about.

  • JSpencer

    P.S. Good post Dave.

  • Dave Hemmann:”I’d be happy to see a single link to where birthers and christianists have called for a real reduction is defense spending.”
    How about a few pages worth?
    Christian:Why are Christians against war

    Tea Party:Tea Party: Defense Spending Not Exempt From Cuts
    Tea Party declares war on military spending

    It took almost 30 seconds to find these.

  • casualobserver

    Here’s another one……

    Those differences were on display Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where the traditional Republican who now leads the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Howard P. McKeon, fought back against proposed cuts in the Pentagon budget even as fledgling committee members supported by the Tea Party said that the nation’s debts amounted to a national security risk.

    http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/tea-party-and-gop-fight-over-defense-spending/

    Now, your turn to post links in factual support of the claim made in the OP…..or allow them to remain evidenced as pure bs.

  • Dr. J

    Dave Hemmann:

    Your rhetorical hysteria really grows tiresome and downright pathetic as long as your criticism of the left is made sans any published, rational alternative.

    Dave, the equation you’re drawing, libertarian = Right = Tea Party just won’t hold up. The “Right” is just a shorthand invented by you people on the “Left,” and it misses a great deal of nuance. Like the Professor, I’ve repeatedly called for defense cuts.

    I recognize, though, that it’s easier said than done. I’m sure Mr. Obama shares the vision of a gentler America, but when it comes down to specific global problems, he finds himself bombing people. I don’t envy him his choices.

    But since you’re advocating rational alternatives, what would you have had us do in, say, Libya?

  • Dave Hemmann

    professor
    ” ProfElwood says:
    May 3, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Dave Hemmann:”I’d be happy to see a single link to where birthers and christianists have called for a real reduction is defense spending.”
    How about a few pages worth?
    Christian:Why are Christians against war

    A google search stating the christian position against war is not the same as calling for cuts…

    Tea Party:Tea Party: Defense Spending Not Exempt From Cuts

    What do you know, no specifics of any kind.. really proves your point, err no it doesn’t….

    Tea Party declares war on military spending

    It took almost 30 seconds to find these.”

    Finding no proof of any actionable movement to reduce spending does not prove any element of your contention.

    Show me the bill, amendment, or proposal that is actually proposed by the right, and I’ll be happy to comment. Until then, your talk is writing checks your rhetoric cannot cash.

  • HemmD:”Show me the bill, amendment, or proposal that is actually proposed by the right, and I’ll be happy to comment.”

    Very funny. How exactly are a handful of legislators supposed to get the damn bill out of committee? The Democrats, on the other hand, do have enough legislators, and yet they have nothing but talk.

    You got your proof. You moved the target … into la la land.

  • Dave Hemmann

    Prof

    you write down the damn bill, and when the leadership refuses to bring it up, you go to the press and publish it across the internet.

    you bring a balanced approach to reducing the budget sans the usual political BS, and make the electorate of your ideas. OR
    you trot out fools like Trump et al and call into question a president’s lawful right to rule after fair election. We both know which choice the tea party choose.

    If you want an adult discussion, start acting like adults. Ryan’s plan is hated by a wide majority because it is so obviously a political connivance, not a solution. Besides, it doesn’t even solve the problem.

    I respect your desire for deficit reduction, but what we have been given is complete BS. You want a budget neutral future, start by demand that the 2.5 trillion owed SS via federal bonds be paid. that takes care of that program for 37 years. Or, take the usual right ended response and simply say that money will never be paid back just like the promise it represents was made with crossed fingers. You want fiscal responsibility? pay the damn bills.

  • Dr. J

    You want a budget neutral future, start by demand that the 2.5 trillion owed SS via federal bonds be paid.

    In what? This is a serious question: if we give the trustees 2.5 billion $1000 dollar bills, do they buy a large mattress to stuff them in? What sensible investment vehicles do they have available other than the stock market and t-bills?

  • Dave Hemmann

    Dr. J

    Which problem do wish wish to discuss, the budget deficit or our role in a world of rich countries all standing behind us as we pour blood and treasure across the sands of the Mid-East?

    Ultimately, both questions have a common solution. If we reduce our footprint and our hubris due to economic demands, the world will have to learn to govern itself.

    We picked up Europe and Japan from the rubble of WWII and recreated a strong and secure economic world. It is time to step back from that leadership role because that “leadership” has drained our wealth, encouraged economic dictatorship across South America and Africa via the boot heel of the world bank network, and generated hatred for our nation.
    The first step toward a rational approach to these questions starts with the simple truth that what has been done in the name of the US has nothing to do with the principles of it’s people. If you can bring yourself to accept that fact, then we can move toward the resolution. We can’t just keep doing things the way we have and not pay a very high price.

  • Dave Hemmann

    casualobserver

    i still need a plan and not whining. spending is a national security issue? show me the plan Stan.
    As I said, write it up in detail and give it to the press if leadership on either side blocks it. This is way too important to let politics to get in the way.

  • DLS

    > Some people really, really, really need
    > to have the concept of “seed corn”
    > explained to them.

    The problem isn’t understanding, it’s misuse of that term for what really is sought and has been by the Left, as well as the occasional overuse or abuse of that term (as well as “invest” and “investment” [gag!]) for what should be limited and correctly viewed and treated with the utmost caution. Government is a necessary evil, and so much of what’s sought, no matter what it’s wrongly called, is far from necessary. They are (often wrongful) wants, not needs.

  • DLS

    Dave Hemmann wrote:

    > You want a budget neutral future,
    > start by demand that the 2.5 trillion
    > owed SS via federal bonds be paid.
    > that takes care of that program for 37 years.

    The Right has always been more responsible, and to address your specific concern (in no way is it particularly important among so many competing concerns, much less more important than anything else), which apparently doesn’t include deficits already occurring that demand additional federal revenues somehow, from somewhere —

    I’ve told you what would be needed with the existing system to make the entitlements solvent. (No 2037 or Pelosi 2042+ BS!)

    FICA taxes would have to be raised to 25 per cent total to make the entitlements solvent. Of course, benefit cost growth could be constrained or reduced, but this would practically only be partially implemented, in combination with additional taxes.

    (Please don’t fall for the stupid lie that raising or abolishing the FICA cap will make the programs solvent. It only pushes back the financial hemorrhage for 6-7 years depending on what’s done to the benefit structure of those who have to pay new or higher tax.)

    The best the Left would conjure would be to convert the federal entitlements to 100% “mandatory” appropriation out of general funds — without raising the necessary taxes to pay for it. Lefties would gloat at the magic solution, smile smugly and nod their heads at each other — they’ve been “saved” and so brilliantly!

  • DLS

    Dr. J. wrote (asked):

    > if we give the trustees 2.5 billion $1000 dollar bills,
    > do they buy a large mattress to stuff them in? What
    > sensible investment vehicles do they have available
    > other than the stock market and t-bills?

    What would any serious conversion of current debt (which is what the trust fund bonds are, of course) into standard Treasury debt securities (bonds, bills, notes) mean, at any time? As much debt held by Washington as before, just of a different kind! Consider ourselves lucky if the market doesn’t demand higher interest rates if such a thing were done.

    As for private equity securities, do we want Washington to become a gargantuan institutional investor, with all kinds of Fuzzy-Wuzzy-Fascist political threats (“social responsibility,” direct control of business decision-making, etc.)? No. This was a sensible rightist (i.e., intelligent and sensible) objection to the Bush “private accounts” plan. Any federal scheme would have this “federal shareholder activism” and worse threats. (More fascist threats — federal corporate charters, federalizing corporations by installing federal employees or officials in directorship and management positions as well as being a shareholder)

    And how derisive would real-world people be to insistence that the “trust fund” bonds be converted to “investments” in federal quasi-private (quasi-public) corporations like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and of course the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), with speculative “high-speed” (80 mph plus — [snort]) rail projects and other capitalizations (and union wage and retirement boosts…) Transit boondoggles —

    Gee, what fun. (plenty of fun describing the antics, too)

  • Dave Hemmann

    DLS

    you and i have come close to agreement about SS before, raising and fica, means testing and pushing retirement out for people far from that date will all accomplish much of this. recouping the 2.5 trillion raided from the fund would help just a tad too i’d bet.

    as usual, you can’t stand to address a problem in any fashion other than left/right, and that just stops the conversation. The problem is the entire system, not 48-53% of party affiliation based upon the latest election. you’re a smart guy, but i honestly cannot see why you constantly hamstring your solutions by making it a stupid and childish rock fight between equally repulsive prostitutes in legislative robes.

  • DLS

    J. Spencer wrote:

    > Some people really, really, really need to have
    > the concept of “seed corn” explained to them.

    Yes, true. Such as:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1c/Ruth1932-1.jpg

    all the people wanting “stimulus” money intended for “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects (as well as members of Congress and conducive Presidents with entitlement “trust funds”) spent for on-going operations and wasted on other schemes

    (the Beame Shuffle in NYC and other similar Dem city government games, applied generally by state, local, federal US governments)

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d6/Baby_Ruth_sign_1935.JPG

    [trotting around bases]

  • As tangents go, the majority of the comments in this thread are interesting, if not downright provocative, but they don’t have jack to do with my post.

    For the memory impaired, the post posits a view presented in an academic paper written with the help of two members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that America’s future security rests with marshaling its resources and not swinging a big stick.

  • Dr. J

    Which problem do wish wish to discuss, the budget deficit or our role in a world of rich countries all standing behind us as we pour blood and treasure across the sands of the Mid-East?

    I’m happy to discuss any problem you’re prepared to answer specifics about. So far on this thread–although you’ve given us stirring sermons about leadership and hubris–that’s the empty set.

  • Shaun:”As tangents go, the majority of the comments in this thread are interesting, if not downright provocative, but they don’t have jack to do with my post.”

    Neither does the Tea Party, which was your tangent.

    Maybe this would be more on topic?
    Ron Paul: A True Progressive (warning: contains non-newspaper standard language)

    And at least Paul would – and this is important, I think – stop killing poor foreigners with cluster bombs and Predator drones. Unlike the Nobel Peace Prize winner-in-chief, Paul would also bring the troops home from not just Afghanistan and Iraq, but Europe, Korea and Okinawa.

  • Dr. J

    For the memory impaired, the post posits a view presented in an academic paper written with the help of two members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that America’s future security rests with marshaling its resources and not swinging a big stick.

    It does extol that academic view, Shaun, but it also does so much more. It bashes conservative groups and two branches of government–ie, people who are trying to steer the country in the here and now–for not finding a plan of action that turns that vision into reality.

    If you’re going to measure other people’s positions on the here-and-now and your own position on the grand vision, you’re going to get a thread like this one. You did that in your post, Hemm is continuing to do it in his comments. You both have some heat coming.

  • DLS

    Howdy, Dave H. — if means testing were implemented, the costs would go down substantially and we wouldn’t need 25% FICA taxes. So would something I’d favor instead, raising the retirement age (and ending early retirement); putting it into the low seventies is long, long overdue. (I’d also advocate looking into offering a range of retirement ages from 59.5 to 70.5 years, with 70.5 being required for full benefits.) Another idea is not only to skew the benefits more regressively (favoring those with lower incomes) but to determine longevity as a function of income (FICA taxes paid) and set retirement ages based on this function (to allow lower-income, often-less-healthy people retire earlier).

    I’ve already explained numerous times the “devil’s advocate” stance against means testing, not only warning people of the problems with means testing (the Medicaid trap for all), but with the reasons behind leftist insistence on universality. Expect this to be so with the middle class, and for them to lose support for entitlements if they are converted from universal to poor-directed welfare programs. “Ya wanna bet they no longer will support it?”

  • DLS

    Dave Hemmann wrote:

    > recouping the 2.5 trillion raided from the fund would
    > help just a tad too i’d bet.

    How would they be recouped? There’s no way to once more have “cash in hand” (a true cash reserve fund*). Besides, what’s in the trust funds are special bonds, claims on Treasury revenue. If you mean to convert them into something more secure, there’s not a real way to do this other than to put into law something similar to mandatory appropriation periodically for much of the entitlements now. Just make those IOUs also mandatory spending — or (what you may think of) put into law that the bonds have top priority on claims to Treasury revenues, or better yet, put into law that default of any kind, even partial, shall be unlawful.

    > as usual, you can’t stand to address a problem in any fashion
    > other than left/right, and that just stops the conversation

    Not true — and I don’t accept that false charge as a fake excuse to end a conversation (or an excuse to support anything else).

    I see the issues as they really are, and the true “roots” of many of our current problems (and “the system” that you have referred to). It’s not hard at all, given not only experience, but also observation and intelligent analysis and thought. (Most acquire this in time.)

    * Note that the entitlement trust fund experience shows that the federal government (as well as other governments) in the real world probably can rare or never be trusted with establishing and stocking any kind of reserve funds. (General-fund experience with so many governments is also quite bad, as you no doubt know.)

  • DLS

    Shaun, I apologize for being less than fully devoted to subjects here.

    Where also are the solar panels on the building in the Heartland?

  • DLS

    Shaun, we’ve also encountered all kinds of drivel (complete with the most ludicrous of equivocations) that global warming or whatever other lefty pet cause is at issue) is a “security problem.” DRIVEL.

  • rudi

    Did anyone go to the FPI or Wison Center ands read the 15 page paper by Mr. Y. Or is it more entertaining to sling crap at SM? It isn’t Comrade Mullens but the Mr Y who writes:

    Porter and Mykleby give us a non-partisan blueprint for understanding and reacting to the
    changes of the 21st century world. In one sentence, the strategic narrative of the United States in
    the 21st century is that we want to become the strongest competitor and most influential
    player in a deeply inter-connected global system, which requires that we invest less in
    defense and more in sustainable prosperity and the tools of effective global engagement.

  • DLS:

    The panels were repossessed by Bank of America when it foreclosed on the farm, which had been in the Grunt family for five generations. The latest generation of Grunts fell on hard times and were sucked into a usurous BoA refinancing scheme which pretty much guaranteed that they would lose the farm.

  • DLS

    J. Spencer wrote:

    > Some people really, really, really need to have the concept of
    > “seed corn” explained to them. They should also be required
    > to study Aesop’s “The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg”

    Yes, killing the golden goose, as some have yet to learn about the incentives associated with taxes (and regulation and punitive and oppressive behavior by government).

    KILLING THE GOLDEN GOOSE, indeed.

    [grin]

    BAM! …

    http://cdn-2-service.phanfare.com/images/5406850_2414069_38709154_WebSmall_8_91_0/Image-5406850-38709154-8-WebSmall_0_a664526d53cbba0bc4c838b2ff2afc7e_1

    * * *

    I’ll add one one more over the fence, a little one-hander. [wink]

    As for “investing” in giggly-tech lefty-dream “alternative energy” as a magic solution and replacement for evil Coal and Nuclear (no solution for the Evil Automobile yet) — I’ve been among those who have tried to counsel the unrealistic, and maybe some on this site should pay attention to what the following techy liberal says:

    (Not that efficiency is bad — and I have high hopes for LEDs)

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384820,00.asp

    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/05/bill-gates-energy-tech/

    Now, Roro may find what I or that other guy says “ridiculous,” but…

  • DLS

    OK, Shaun — sorry. At least you got to photograph those structures before they were replaced by the giant new McFood planting annex.

    (Using GMO seedstock, of course)

  • JSpencer

    DLS, you’ve gone about an hour now without making some pejorative comment about the “left”. You’d best get on the stick bro! 😉

  • Dave Hemmann

    Shaun
    I apologize if you see my comments as off-topic, but I thought I was tracking it well.
    as i see it, we either continue to be cops on a gratis basis, or we invest in our future generations so we can compete in the new economic future.
    Two pentagon experts who know something about war stated we need to back off from our eternal war footings. From comments, it seems we have money for security in the ever present crisis but none for our future security.

    if those who fear the present, the deficit becomes their block for change from the way we’ve done things since Bush. If i have to handhold the timid, it’s the least i can do for the future.

  • DLS

    Dave Hemmann wrote:

    > we either continue to be cops on a gratis basis,
    > or we invest in our future generations so we can
    > compete in the new economic future

    False dichotomy, Dave, and “invest” is softly metaphorical at best.

    Note that defense of the USA includes defense of our interests abroad, and using force when needed against our enemies and adversaries of all types. Even rigid isolationists would insist on solid defenses (air defense, littoral and border defenses, ballistic missile defense) if they were honest and dedicated, and in reality we have interests abroad. We have ballistic missiles and better at times, cruise missiles, and nowadays, UAVs like the Predator that can be armed with HELLFIRE missiles, controlled remotely in DC metro or wherever with a joystick, throttle control, and firing controls for weapons. Those will never go away, and what the more foresighted people realize is that cruise missiles may be improved with interactive controls (mission changes, recall ability!), but the subsonic transit time is an inferiority, and the foresighted want hypersonic cruise missiles, if possible.

    (Rambling a bit, but — not the world cop, but US-interests cop.)

  • JSpencer

    I think I need to rent Team America World Police again so I can regain the proper perspective.

  • DLS

    Naw, you need to think about the Thunderbirds, or Captain Scarlet and (vs.) the Mysterons [evil conservatives on earth, alternative viewpoint]. Nice global world view, literally.

    (Darken Penelope’s hair and you have Sarah Palin — remember?)

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PdQbpP3KRGY/TTpdSo0UDRI/AAAAAAAAAnE/p38GPFU3Y0M/s1600/Thunderbirds.jpeg

    (SPECTRUM is an equal opportunity employer, world-wide)

    http://www.covershut.com/cd_covers/Captain-Scarlet-and-The-Mysterons-Vol.-2-Cd-Cover-8801.jpg

  • Dave Hemmann

    DLS Here’s a long one, so gird your grid 😉

    DLA

    “> You want a budget neutral future,
    > start by demand that the 2.5 trillion
    > owed SS via federal bonds be paid.
    > that takes care of that program for 37 years.

    The Right has always been more responsible, and to address your specific concern (in no way is

    it particularly important among so many competing concerns,… “”

    Dave

    It is the list of “”competing concerns” that is the nub of my view. The “competing concerns” of the people of the US has remained stable in most ways since WII, (and there’s a huge discussion tracing those concerns since 1776 – saved for another time.) In my opinion, the people’s concerns have been largely squelched in favor of the concerns of the corporate elite.

    Corp elite is not my favorite term, and I mean nothing political through the term. That said, I do stress that the lobbyist/new law cartel that has risen since WWII’s end and Eisenhower’s M.I.C. speech is the progenitor of our current national problem.

    This child of the defense industry grew to full stature through Cold War A-Bombs, NORAD, and strategic weapons as well as the supply logistics of Viet Nam. Here is where the concerns of the complex began there divergence from the broader philosophic principles of the people. The Cold war divided the world into a chess board of strategic resources such as oil, titanium, rare earths, and uranium. Food stuffs and manufactured shoes, boots, uniforms, etc were not a major factor as they were still being produced locally. All the American people knew was “We were fighting the good fight” once again according to our traditional beliefs, and if a country on the other side of the world had a regime change, well that’s chess, a game one doesn’t really play. For the M I C, however, “competing concerns” began to measure goals not by American principles, but upon a sanguine pragmatism sans moral trepidation. Moral principle
    began to be traded for chess tiles, the politicians knew enough to make sure it stayed as secret as possible under the guise of national security. See Elsberg/pentagon papers/ gulf of Tomkin…..

    Viet Nam is where this new criteria for governance became mature. It was my generation who saw the loss of principle and raised hell about it. That is something that I take pride in because I was taught the our Freedoms are so rare in this world that one must be willing to not only protect our own, but to also not the cause of someone else s loss of those freedoms. Sorry for the divergence.

    Ironically, it was this chess game that eventually made Mid-East countries form Opec. I know of your deep abiding love of Carter, but ask yourself what President could survive oil going from 2 to 30 bucks a barrel in four years, or what would have happened to Obama if that one downed copter had killed this weekend’s mission? Moral principle was why Carter was elected, but somebody forget to tell the American people that the Cold war required sacrifice. Up until then, the cold war was fought somewhere else and caused somebody else discomfort. Freedom isn’t free, but it sure doesn’t mean I need to wait in gas lines….

    The lines between American Industry and National government became incestuous, where ex-generals became lobbyists. As “strategic goals” broadened into economic objectives, trade and manufacturing were employed to stabilize our friends and restructure their countries along pyramidal corporate lines. See Chicago school of economics and Pinochet. A few dead “revolutionaries” is a small price to pay. Consider Guatemala, where 12 families supported by the US State Dept owned nearly all arid able land, Land reform was a communist plot, so no American principles were hurt in the governing of this country.

    Finally, the end of the cold war left complete the entire lobbyist infrastructure, and corporate concerns started to mainline opportunities for sector profit instead of strategic national requirements. They turned their attention toward our economy, and changed farms, coal fields, and gas reserves into government backed corporate enterprises. Special loop-holes, tax incentives, and deregulation produced ever higher profits that in turn increased lobbyist’s influence through donations. Despite a few “show wars,” ala Panama etc, the effort was divorced from our nations general needs and the almighty dollar. SS got raided because the promise made to retired Americans was judged tangential to meeting quarterly predictions.

    Bush senior contended in the last morally defensible war we have fought, and although
    Afghanistan did have moral imperative, it was left to die on the vine for the not being valued as high as Iraqi oil fields. Afghanistan should have ended at Tora Bora, but it is no coincidence that Bush Jr’s first act was to complete the oil pipe line from Azerbaijan to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries. Bush may have thought we were getting Ben laden, but it’s obvious that this was secondary to oil supply. The proof in that is the fact we essentially stopped in our tracks in Afghanistan once the supply was assured, and Bush himself said he really didn’t think finding Ben laden was all that important.

    The problem you and I have had in reaching consensus has always been about our national
    concerns. The “serious people” you seem to hold in high esteem for their pragmatic, long range, dispassionate appraisal of what is “best for America” troubles me because that viewpoint must by necessity ignore moral principle. More than once you have said I was naive, but I ask you, does a country reflect its moral principles or does it reflect the baser avaristic qualities of a distorted mind set where everything has a price and nothing has value?

    I don’t want Machiavelli to run my country, not because he is not loyal to his king and dogma, I oppose his rule because he’s a moral reprobate who knows nothing about human empathy. The Christian right community takes great stock in the idea that America is founded upon the human rights given to us by God. I actually agree with that, but our government is being ruled by a corporate installed Herod. It is under their tutelage where jobs are exported, profits are privatized and liability is socialized, and wealth is always funneled to the top. It is simply undeniable, control of this country has become a power transfer apparatus for an elite that has no loyalty to this country or it’s principles of justice, equal access, and the general welfare of its people.

    Your question is simple, just explain why you feel compelled to support the serious people’s position. Are our principles just something to trot out on the 4th and forgotten otherwise? It’s a serious question because your answer carries with it your support for its outcome. The primary goal of our government was to secure freedoms and guarantee rights for all our people. Our current government secures rights for special interests and creates fictitious rights for entities who pay them to do so. You really for that? The politics you constantly argue assumes one side is right and one is wrong, one side is good and one bad; how can you only see one hand stealing rights and privileges and not the other?

    End of Rant
    Thanks

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