Saturday, July 31, 2010

Suggestion for Arizona and other states

When Microsoft was being fined, sued, and bullied by the Governments around the world, I wondered then and still wonder, why they didn't fight back.

Now, with the Arizona Immigration case, I have to wonder why Arizona doesn't fight back as well? Ok, picture this, a bank is robbed. It's federally insured, and thus under Federal Law, a Federal Crime. Get the picture? So the local police show up, secure the scene, and avoid taking any information on the criminal. Once the FBI arrives, the local cops leave. They just leave and return to local policing duties. It's a Federal Crime, and the Local Police wouldn't want to interfere with the Federal Government's legal authority would they?

Or a Federal Marshal shows up and says. "We think we've found a wanted fugitive. We'll be needing a SWAT team for the capture though."

"Sorry, they're all tied up right now, but good luck catching the guy."

"We want to book a prisoner we captured into your jail."

"Sorry Mr. Federal Agent, but we don't really have the space right now. Come on back tomorrow and we'll see what we can do."

Your argument is obvious, and simple. It's the Federal Government's responsibility to do all those things. Not the State, or the local government's responsibility.

Put call forwarding on the telephone and fax line for background checks as mandated under the Brady Law and send the calls to the local office of the FBI. It's a Federal Law that those checks must be made, let the Federal Government do it.

When the Federal Government complains, all you have to do is say. "I'm sorry, but we're really busy chasing criminals who are interestingly enough illegal aliens for crimes unrelated to their immigration status. Right now, we're searching for a Rapist, and a Murderer both of whom appear to be Illegal Aliens." Just highlight the most recent crimes that the Illegal Immigrant community is accused of.

"The Local Police refused to set up a cordon around the bank that had a hostage situation in it."

"First, kidnapping and taking hostages is a Federal Crime, and we are not empowered to enforce Federal Laws. The Judge who struck down SB 1070 said so plainly, we don't have the authority, nor the responsibility to enforce Federal Law. Bank Robbery is a Federal Crime, and federal law trumps State or local laws. The Supreme Court has ruled on that many times. We had every available officer searching for Mr. Jong Quan, the leader of the Chinese Triad in Phoenix. This man is apparently also wanted by Immigration and Naturalization for staying in the country on an expired visa. We want him in connection to five murders. We understand that the DEA hasn't ever investigated him despite the fact that he appears to be the head of a large drug dealing organization."

"You have a responsibility to assist Federal Law Enforcement." The FBI spokesman will shout.

"Right, well we would, but we're a little busy. We're also hot on the trail of Mr. Juan Gonzales, who in addition to being an Illegal Immigrant, appears to have raped three women in Phoenix. He's also wanted in connection to a Hit and Run accident which left two people dead, and three others in critical condition at Mercy General Hospital."

Shoot, the Legislature in Arizona could pass a law dictating that any co-operation with Federal Authorities must not interfere with normal policing operational requirements. Requests for assistance from Local Law Enforcement must be made in writing at least fourteen days prior to the time and date that the assistance is requested.

GM doubles down on Volt

After listening to the comments, usually followed by laughter, the Chevy Volt, which was unveiled earlier this week, and costs $41,000 before you get paid to take it, and a market of people who don't want it, or need it, GM is increasing production on the car. Seriously, it's a car that costs as much as a luxury car, sports car, or a really big family car, and it's worse than all of those.

So what could you get instead of a Chevy Volt? How about an Audi A-5? Or how about a BMW 3 series?

How about Domestic cars? You know, cars built in the United States. How about a Kia Sorento built in Georgia with a starting price of $22k?

In other words, there are a lot of cars out there that are far better, for far less money, even after a tax credit for buying the stupid thing.

But Max, you don't understand. You'll save tons of Gasoline with the Chevy Volt.

OK, let's talk about Gasoline. The Kia Sorento gets about 20 miles per gallon. That means with the money I don't spend on the Chevy Volt, I could drive about 120,000 miles with gasoline that cost about $3 per gallon. If Gasoline goes to $4 a gallon, I could still drive about 90,000 miles on the money I didn't spend on the Volt. Are you seeing a pattern here yet?

The Ford Fiesta for example, starts at $13,000 and gets 29 miles to the gallon in the city, with 40 miles to the gallon on the highway. Stop and think, the Volt can go forty miles before the engine turns on, but that costs you $41,000 while a $13,000 car can give you that same 40 miles for about $4 in gas, if your in the city.

Now, do I need to do the math on how far you can go in your Ford Fiesta before you break even on the base cost of the Volt? Remember, you still have to pay for Electricity, which will be going up by leaps and bounds when Cap and Trade is finally passed. Then if you do run the engine, you have to run Premium Gasoline, the most expensive kind, in your Chevy Volt.

If you're worried that the Ford Fiesta isn't up to the driving you do, perhaps this review from Top Gear, the Award Winning British Car Show should put your fears to rest.

How do we blame this on Bush?

When Iraq was not going well, the news organs opened each days broadcast with tallies of troops killed in Iraq. This was done in the hopes of stirring up anti-war feelings in the population. This was essentially Propaganda, which is a fair way to describe it. Propaganda is often believed to be false information. The most effective propaganda is true information that is presented in a spectacular, or consistant manner.

World War I saw a great deal of Propaganda from both sides, the English had the most effective, describing the brutalities of the German Army on civilian populations in Belgium and France.

So the daily update of casualties in Iraq while Bush was President can be honestly and accurately described as Propaganda, especially after you realize that those numbers aren't broadcast daily now, with President Obama in office. It's sort of like the absence of homeless stories when a Democrat is President, while the flood of such stories when a Republican is in office makes you believe that the homeless problem only crops up when Republicans are in charge.

So now we see that US Casualties in Afghanistan are on the rise, and the obvious question is, how do we blame this on Bush?

The Economy that has been badly mismanaged by the Democrats in Congress and the White House is Bush's fault. The War in Iraq that is going well, is not his fault, but a credit to the excellent leadership of President Obama. That is the trend of not only this administration, but all administrations. They don't want the blame, but want any credit they can get their hands on.

Now, I've discussed the situation in Afghanistan before, when looking at RNC Chairman Michael Steel's statement that Afghanistan is President Obama's war, and he owns it lock, stock, and barrel.

My conclusion was that victory was impossible, given the time requirement of sixty to eighty years, with one hundred years a distinct possibility. As I believe that there is no way for our nation to sustain an eighty year commitment, or even the sixty year commitment that would in my opinion be the shortest possible time frame needed to bring about the bare minimum of social change in the Afghani population.

I've previously suggested that soldiers do not enlist, and I stand by that statement. Especially when they are assigned impossible tasks, and asked to make the ultimate sacrifice, for a war that can't be won.

I'm not opposed to a last stand, nor am I opposed to going down fighting. However, when you're asking our troops to go and fight a war, one that can't be won for three or four generations, when you know that there is no way we'll be fighting sixty years from now, then that is using those troops to make sure you look like a strong leader. Using those troops as props to make sure you look tough is not like fighting a last stand, but is unforgivable.

So the obvious question is this. What makes Afghanistan a guaranteed loss, while Iraq appears to be a win? The difference is in social/economic/technological advancement. Iraq was for all intents and purposes a westernized nation, with Television, Radio, Newspapers, and a reasonable level of literacy among the population. That means that it's far easier to communicate with the population, and that population has been exposed to Western Ideals of Democracy and individual rights. It means that it would take the investment of less than a generation, in other words, less than twenty years to bring the population to a sustainable national democratic ideal.

Afghanistan on the other hand, has a much lower literacy among the population, and those that can read, have for the most part, never been exposed to anything but the Koran, which means that the foundation of education for the population is simply absent. It would take at least a generation to get the educational foundation started, forget about having it cemented into place.

Simply put, we can't win in Afghanistan, because we won't invest the sixty or eighty years of dedication to the advancement of the Afghani people. We're going to leave, and the Taliban or whatever organization of Muslim Extremists know it. They'll just wait until we are pulling out, and then they'll return and once again Afghanistan will be the home of Extremism in the Middle East. Our troops will have died in vain, and that is bad enough. However, from the surge on, those who die won't be dying for any reason except to show that the Politicians are willing to sacrifice others to look tough. For that reason, I must renew my advice. Do not enlist, do not re-enlist.

Friday, July 30, 2010

DUmmies feel betrayed by Obama

I've often mentioned the apparent disconnect from President Obama, and his Socialist/Liberal/Communist core supporters that make up the dedicated foundation of the Democratic Party much as the Conservatives make up the core of the Republican Party.

These extreme left wing activists want an end to the Corporate America where business actually turns profits. What they want, to put it bluntly, is to eat the rich. They aren't getting anything that they do want, and they're getting tired of being told that we have to take what we can get.

These are the people who campaigned tirelessly for President Obama, and anyone else with a D after their name in 2008. They donated money, they donated hours of their time. They wanted the promised reforms, and they wanted to show the world what a successful Socialist President could do with huge Democratic Majorities in both houses of Congress.

This post from a user at the Democratic Underground (referred to by me as a DUmmie) is interesting, because in a way, it makes a point similar to one I have believed, and even argued.
It is the simple fact that we are now under assault by this administration, just as we were under Bush.

Do you get it now?
This user correctly points out the same truth that Mel Gibson did in the movie The Patriot. The people are talking about Revolting because their rights are being trampled by a King who is 3,000 miles away. Mel's line from the movie is something like this. A man can find his rights abused just as easily by 3,000 legislators a mile away, as he can find them abused by a King 3,000 miles away.

That point is absolutely correct. It's not who the Dictator is, it's that the Dictator is. As I pointed out here, the result regarding your life, and your rights is the same, no matter if it is a Fascist (inaccurately named right wing extremist) dictatorship, or a Socialist dictatorship.

I have complained often and bitterly about the Patriot Act. I didn't like it when it was Republicans administering it's abuses of my rights, and my liberties. Why would I now approve of it because the person administering this abuse is a Democrat?

MadHound of the Democratic Underground is absolutely correct. It's not who is violating basic freedoms and liberties. It's that someone is violating our basic rights and liberties.

Fascist versus Socialist.

I had an interesting discussion with a friend recently, and they asked me why Hitler who was a dictator was considered extreme right wing, while Stalin who was a Dictator, was considered extreme left wing. The answer is a little complicated, but I'll try and post what we talked about.

Most people consider political beliefs to be a line, with extremes on both ends of the line, and the idea of "moderates" being right in the middle, and thus the perfect balance between extremist views from the Socialists and the Libertarians. However, the truth is that the spectrum of political beliefs is actually better represented by a circle, with Fascism and Socialism touching on that circle.

The difference is actually pretty simple, and almost insignificant in it's mechanism to achieve nearly identical results.

Under Socialism, as practiced in the Soviet Union, all jobs are government jobs. The factory is a Government owned factory, and you are given a quota to produce. The Government pays the employees, and the managers are appointed by the Government.

Under Fascism, the factory in question is owned by a private individual or group. The management and workers are selected, hired, and or appointed by that private individual who is responsible for paying the employees. However, what that factory produces, and the quotas and price of the product is determined by the Government.

A famous example of the Fascist system is included in the story of Schindler's List. Schindler started out taking a factory that was captured in Poland through thinly veiled legal tricks, and started to produce enamel covered metal items, in other words dishes, pots, and cups of a type normally used by armies in the field.

After Poland was obviously going to be taken by the Russians, he moved all his employees, which were almost all Jews saved from the concentration camps, to another factory. Here, the Fascist Government ordered Schindler to make munitions, artillery shells, hand grenades, and other war fighting materials, which he and his employees were singularly unqualified to manufacture. That they had no intention of producing munitions did not help them produce anything of value to the Nazi Government.

There are several examples of the Socialist failures in history. The idea that the State (read national Government) knows how to operate a company and produce a good or serve is a popular one in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez's Government. Yet, the evidence is that each company "seized" by the State enters new levels of ineptitude and poor performance. As an example, when the Electric Company was run as a private concern, there were few if any disruptions of electrical production. Now, it is far more common for Venezuela to experience brownouts, and blackouts, as the Government is as unqualified to run an electrical company, as Schindler was to manufacture munitions.

So what are we sliding towards in the United States? When Bush was President, the claim from the left when the Government would spy on citizens, or assume greater control and power over our lives and liberties, was that Bush was taking us towards Fascism.

Now under President Obama, those same policies remain in effect, and even more Government control over our lives, liberties, as well as the Business world. The Government owns a large stake in GM (General Motors), which is suitably, and with reasonable accuracy referred to as Government Motors, or Obama Motors. While at the same time, while the Government in essence owns that particular corporation, they are passing sweeping overhauls called reforms for other businesses in many other parts of our economy and lives.

The first is Socialist. The owning of a corporation by the Government. The second is Fascist, telling a company how they will operate, what they will produce, and how they will produce it.

In other words, we're moving towards both. As the Eastern European countries found out in 1940 when the Germans attacked the Soviet Union, there wasn't really any difference in your life if you were oppressed by a Socialist Dictatorship as Stalin commanded, or a Fascist Dictatorship as Hitler had. This impression was confirmed when the Soviets retook this territory later, and resumed their earlier brutal policies towards the same victims of their earlier brutalities. These people were Victims twice. Once when the Germans liberated them from the Soviets, and again when the Soviets re-claimed and re-liberated them from the Nazi abuses.

In other words, it didn't matter one whit if the Government sent you to a Concentration camp in Poland, or a Gulag in Siberia. By that same token, it doesn't matter if the person abusing your rights and liberties is a Republican, or a Democrat. Your rights and liberties are the important part of the discussion.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Primary Challenge for President Obama? Of course

Just under two years ago, about an hour after President Obama was elected, long before he was sworn in, I pointed out that there was no way for him to appease all the groups that had come together to get him elected. I made predictions, which are coming true about the infighting among the Democrats.

This was done with the memory of the Kos Kids taking Lieberman out of the Primary for his re-election campaign to the Senate. Which is why today Senator Lieberman is an Independent who caucus's with the Democrats, instead of a Democrat. They were infuriated with Senator Lieberman not only voting for, and supporting the war against Terrorism in Iraq, but his vociferous defense of President Bush and the ongoing war on Terror. They turned on him, funded his opponent in the Primary, and although Lieberman won as an Independent, they nuked him for heresy to the Liberal cause.

Of course, Conservatives have done much the same thing to several RINO class CCBB Republicans. That is the whole point of the election cycles. If your representative doesn't represent your ideals, values, or beliefs, you can remove them from office through the democratic expression of the vote.

Now, Allahpundit noted defender of all things Moderate and RINO at Hot Air claims that this idea is insane when it comes to the Democrats. Really? The argument comes from Ed Rendell, former Clinton camp follower, who says that the Liberals may launch a strong anti Afghanistan War challenge to President Obama. AP rejects this as absolutely out of the question. Yet, aren't the Liberal Socialist core of the Democratic Party outraged that we're fighting anywhere, much less in Afghanistan and Iraq? These people are the ones who donated money, time, effort, and wore out shoes talking to people about then Candidate Obama and all the great things he would do. Yet, he hasn't done any of them. Health Care Reform was weaker than they wanted and lacked any sort of "public option" read universal coverage. Wall Street reform still lets the rich get richer while the poor are even poorer now. Unemployment is up, so the Unions aren't happy about factories closing and jobs being lost. Club Gitmo remains open, despite an Executive Order signed a couple days after President Obama was sworn in that ordered it closed.

The Liberal Socialist core of the Democrats have nothing to be happy about. Republicans are making gains, by carrying the Conservative Message to the people. Democrats haven't been this weak going into an election cycle since 1994, when they lost the House, and the clear majority they held in the Senate. Now, I readily admit a big difference, there is no unity on the Republican side, because too many of the old school CCBB Republicans refuse to embrace the Conservative message, instead insisting that moderation and becoming more like the opponents is the way to victory. I've said PFUI before, and I'll say it again to that notion.

So will there be a Primary Challenge for President Obama? I think there may well be. I still say that had Hillary Clinton won the Nomination, I probably would have voted for her over McCain, although Sarah Palin was a big multiplier for that ticket. But if Hillary had chosen one of a half dozen good Conservative Democrats that were out there as her ticket mate, I probably would have voted for her over McCain/Palin.

As I said before, all we have to do, is sit back and watch the Democrats self destruct. They have a shaky alliance of disparate groups with little or nothing in common. We Conservatives need to continue uniting for the ideals we believe in.

UPDATE: I decided to post a link, just one, of the hundreds of possibilities out there, of how disgusted the left wing is with President Obama for all that he hasn't done for them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ready for all those new taxes?

Come January 1, 2011, the tax man will own you. Not only will you have to cough up a 1099 for any purchases you make over $600 per year, yes per year. No reading yet if that includes grocery shopping and other related incidental expenses, but if I was a betting man, I'd say yes it will.

Those new taxes are coming into effect to help support the Obamacare bloated bureaucracy aren't the only dollars that you won't be seeing anymore. The Bush Tax cuts will increase the bottom rate from 10% to 15%. That's right, a fifty percent increase in the taxing of the poor. It's about time that those darned poor paid their fair share right Libs?

The Death Tax is coming back, so not only are you paying taxes while you are alive, but soon when you die, you'll be paying taxes again.

Every type of tax will increase, and every kind of deduction will decrease. From education to the marriage penalty, you'll be paying more taxes than every before starting the first of the new year. I have to wonder, is this the change you hoped for?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Georgia Primary Day

In 2008, I voted in the Primary here in Georgia, so I could vote against Maverick McCain. This year, I voted for Karen Handel. Was it because she was the favorite? No, John Oxendine was the favorite. However, I haven't ever liked what I've seen of John Oxendine. It may not be accurate, but it's my impression.

On the Democratic Side, which I considered voting in, was Roy Barnes, former Governor of the State, and voted out by an angry public after his debacle of an administration. He was the huge favorite, and even now, has secured the nomination.

So why did I vote? I voted because I was intrigued by Karen Handel. I voted because of the outrage of the Press and Mainstream CCBB (Country Club Blue Blood) Republican machine that hates Sarah Palin and objected loudly and often when Palin endorsed Handel. I read her website, and then I decided to go ahead and vote today.

At this moment, it appears as though a runoff election is going to be needed in the Republican primary. OK, I can manage to find time to vote again. Do I think Handel can win? Yes. Do I think she'll do a fair or even good job as Governor? Sure, I'll give her the same benefit of the doubt that I give everyone. But why did I vote for her?

Partly to vote against Oxendine. Partly to vote against Barnes. Partly to thumb my nose at the morons who run the Republican Party who insist that the way to win is to go more moderate despite the literal tons of evidence that clearly shows that moderate means you're an acceptable loser on election day. Acceptable to the Press. The Democrats who are winning in states outside of California and the NorthEast, are winning as Conservatives. They are such a minority outside of the powerhouse districts, that they make up less than a third of the Democrat Elected officials. Yet, they win big, and the Republicans always sigh afterwards and say we should be more moderate.

So Karen Handel is more conservative than the others I researched, not all of them, there were just too many. She was certainly more conservative than Roy Barnes. That is my general rule of thumb, vote for the MOST CONSERVATIVE candidate. Which is why I have in the past voted for John Barrow (Before I moved out of his district, or his district moved away from me, whichever it was.) Democrat. He was MORE conservative than the Republican.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Four letter word that means tells untruths.

Just to recap the story thus far. President Obama spent a great deal of time telling everyone that the penalty for not purchasing Health Insurance under Obamacare was not a tax. He said he would not violate his promise not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250k.

Well, that was then, and this is now. Now the administration has to defend Obamacare in the courts, and that means that they have to justify it by law. Their answer, that the States have no right to object to the Obamacare mandates or fees, as the Federal Government is empowered to lay and collect taxes.

So I'm working on a crossword puzzle, and does anyone have a four letter word for someone who tells untruths?

WASHINGTON — When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Professor George Lakoff, Still Swinging Away

Professor George Lakoff of the famed Cal State Berkley is still out there, still trying to frame the discussion, still trying to be relevant outside of his safe little academic bastion. I've previously posted about this so called esteemed Professor twice. You can read about those missives here, and here.

Professor Lakoff's entire claim to fame is that he had decoded Conservatives, and shows how they frame an argument to suit them. The Progressives and Liberals and Socialists have had less success in framing the argument to suit them. By framing the argument, he means our choice of words, and phrases, to communicate our ideals and principals. You know, those darned things like freedom, independence, individual liberty, and less Government intrusion.

So Professor Lakoff is now trying to emulate Sarah Palin, who of course, caused such a stir with her "Death Panel" characterization of the Obamacare bill.

He wants the Gulf Oil Spill to be known as the Gulf Death Gusher. Now, here is the difference Professor. The Obamacare bill did, and does, have panels that decide what kind of care will be covered, and included. One of those panels functions is to allocate care to those who need it, in other words, when there is more demand, than supply, to ration the care. Those panels will determine who lives, and who dies, by receiving the care they need. So Death Panel was a very accurate, and emotionally effective means of discussing their purpose.

So Death Panels are in our future, as Obamacare passed, and there is in reality no way to otherwise allocate finite supply to increasing demand. Sarah Palin was right, and her term was accurate, and in the near future, we'll see the stories start, small at first, of people who were denied medical care and sentenced to death by a panel of Government Officials. You know, stories like those coming from countries and states with similar laws to Obamacare.

So Professor, the question comes up, why hasn't your carefully crafted term of Gulf Death Gusher caught on? It's inaccurate, and it doesn't describe the situation truthfully. Choices of words mean things, granted. However, the truth behind those words matter even more. If the words don't convey truth, then the words are meaningless. Which is why the Liberal attempts to do things like you are trying again to do, always fail.

Pro Choice, why is it that that term only applies to Abortion? Why can't we be pro choice on smoking, cars, food, guns, or anything else that is regulated by the Government? Why can't we eliminate the prohibitions to allowing Insurance Companies to operate across state lines, thus ending the near monopolies that they have in states and regions? Why can't we be pro choice on Insurance?

The great thing about Conservative Truth Professor is this. It is simple, and easily understood by those who hear it explained to them. Classic Truth carries far in our world, and that should be the message of the Conservatives.

Good Luck Professor, now that BP has managed to cap the "Gulf Death Gusher" I'm sure you'll be coming up with another obviously inaccurate term soon. One day, you might get lucky, but I doubt it. However, you might get lucky, and one day be half as relevant to our discussion of issues as Sarah Palin.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Time to shut down NASA

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It was the American version of Star Trek. They were the people who researched, they were the people who explored our world, and the universe. Now, they're merely a public relations group that wants to make Muslims feel good about their history in math and science. Seriously.

Michael Boldon the administrator of NASA in an interview said.

When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — [Obama] charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

Since NASA no longer has a SPACE mission, and isn't charged with RESEARCH, there is only one conclusion. Shut it down. Close the doors, fire the employees, shut it down. Sell the buildings to whoever wants them, wish the corporations that will apparently manage the space exploration and research angle to whoever wants it. Hand the working stuff over to the European Space Agency, since they still explore space. Give the ISS to the Russians, and wish them well.

We don't need another public relations group funded by taxpayer dollars. How exactly does a group that does nothing going to inspire kids to study math and science? "Come on Junior, if you study real hard, you can join us in going to classrooms and telling kids it's important to study math." Expanding our international relationships? We're becoming the bum relative. "Hey Bob, I need a ride man, are you headed towards the ISS?" "Could you drop this off with Mike? He's on the ISS, and if you could take that by his house man, I'd appreciate it."

Shut down NASA. Not next year, not next decade. Tomorrow. Just close the doors, turn the lights out, and shut it down.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Basic Logic defied, so what else is new?

Last week, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, made the asinine comment that Unemployment checks were the best way to stimulate new business.

This weekend, Media Matters, the far left wing watchdog group, defends that claim.

The basic problem with that claim is that it is obviously and practically wrong. First, we have to recognize that Unemployment is only a percentage of your regular pay when you were employed. Generally speaking, it was about half your salary. So with half your salary, you're supposed to be able to help start new businesses with the flood of money you're getting?

First, you're going to pay housing and food with your money, everyone does. Then you're probably out of money. Most people are. Health Insurance? Out of your ability to pay probably, at least with only unemployment coming in. So where do these great business opportunities to serve the unemployed come from?

Walmart and Sam's club already have discount groceries covered, better than you'd be able to anyway. So perhaps you'll go into business creating affordable housing? But there are already houses empty because the owners couldn't or wouldn't make payments on them. So who exactly would get this affordable housing? Or who would fund it, provide you a loan in other words?

Media Matters claims that this has been demonstrated by the Congressional Budget Office as true. Is that the same Congressional Budget office that regularly mis-estimates the cost of anything and everything? Basic common sense says that the statement is untrue, yet we have experts running around explaining how it really is true. Yes, up is down, black is white, and half pay is better than your old paycheck.

Perhaps if we can arrange for Nancy to live on Unemployment for a while, with no other source of income, she might be able to demonstrate how it is going to be funemployment to us.

Friday, July 02, 2010

But is he right?

GOP Chairman Michael Steel is back in the spotlight, and again drawing fire this weekend for stating that he was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and it was a war of President Obama's choosing.

But is he right? That's the question. I've never known of any subject so horrible, so dangerous, that it couldn't be discussed. Even during World War I, the Great War, Politicians would occasionally float trial balloons, and suggest that someone should talk about ending the war. President Wilson tried to bring peace without victory for years before finally taking the nation to war. For the most part, those Politicians were not severely chastised for saying that years of war, and millions of lives lost might have been enough of a price to pay. Some were certainly, but for the most part, they were chastised by the population, and forgiven.

So let's consider, could Chairman Steel be right? The Taliban has said essentially the same thing. They refused to negotiate post war conditions with us since we're leaving anyway. In other words, they're waiting until we abandon the field, and then they'll move in and declare victory over the infidel, and once again reinstate their barbaric and abusive rule over the people.

Which by the way, is the exact thing that happened in Somalia, when we pulled out of Somalia and the War Lords returned to what they were doing when we showed up. They out waited us. A couple months ago, I had a post almost ready and then I deleted it. I believe it, and I think it's the truth, but I deleted it because I didn't want to say it.

Now, I will. It will take sixty to eighty years to bring true peace to Afghanistan. That is an investment that America and the world is unwilling to make, so we should leave now, and avoid the loss of life on a hopeless cause.

Here is why I am saying that. The sixty to eighty years is the time for social change to drip through the population. The first generation, the children of today, will be taught and accept some of the truths that we believe in. But they won't believe all of them, and they won't adapt all of them. Their children, will accept more, but that puts us some forty years into the future already, and the principals of a true democratic representative society require that each individual, male or female, have rights, and votes. The third generation would be the first we could honestly hope would accept the ideals of individual liberty, and freedoms that make Representative Democracies actually work. That's sixty years, three generations, or fifty more years from today. Are we as a people willing to invest that kind of time, that kind of treasure, and that kind of dedication to the task of reforming Afghanistan, a nation where electricity is a luxury known only to the city dwellers and not all the time? The honest answer is NO. Eventually America will get sick of it, and declare victory and leave, ignoring the truth, that all they're leaving is a nation where the Taliban or some other such incarnation of the brutal old ways, the ways that the adults are all too familiar and comfortable with, return.

So we have to admit that there is no way to win in Afghanistan, that is to create a stable democracy for future generations, where individual rights and freedoms are the rule of law for the land. Then what shorter term goal can we set? No Taliban, and no Terrorism? That can only be guaranteed as long as we are there, but that is a commitment without end, which the nation is ill prepared to accept. Look at the response of the people when John McCain said we could be in Iraq for a hundred years.

If we aren't willing to commit to a sixty or eighty or even hundred year plan for success, and for true victory, then all we can do is treat the symptoms. In other words, wait until a bunch of hostiles show up in a certain area, and then kill them with bombs launched from miles away. In other words, the way we treated Iraq after Desert Storm. The way we dealt with Libya in the 1980's. We keep a close eye on them, and every once in a while drop a few bombs to keep them from getting too froggy.

Do we need combat troops on the ground for that? Do we need to keep our sons, daughters, husbands and wives to that kind of life to drop bombs on training camps from time to time? I don't think so. It puts the troops at too much risk, and nets us little gain from our investment, and the costs of operation, in lives as well as dollars.

So eventually, I think that the nation will decide that it costs us too much, in lives, and dollars, to maintain a presence in Afghanistan, and the people will finally admit that the nation is too backwards, too ill suited for a rapid change to representative democracy. So then we have a bad choice right? Choosing the best warlord who will not side with the Taliban. But the Taliban will be supported by Iran and other fundamentalist nations, and with volunteers to hope to rid the region of infidel influences, our chosen Afghani Warlord is doomed before he begins.

And even if our selected Afghani Warlord we leave in charge does manage to be successful in the short term, the Afghan people won't be any better off under that dictatorship than they will be under the brutality of the Taliban.

In the end, I think any honest assessment of the situation, the history of the region, and the potential gains will conclude that withdrawal from Afghanistan is going to be the result American reaches eventually, the only question is how many lives will be shattered, both Afghani and American, before we admit it.

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