Saturday, December 1, 2007

What a Racket!

War is a racket! A few rich people manipulate the rest of us and make bloody fortunes in the doing.
That sentiment was first expressed by one of the most respected and beloved Marine commanders, who was twice awarded the Medal of Honor. As he expressed it
" Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill."

Major General Smedley Butler was approached by a group of "business men" who didn't like the social policies that President Roosevelt initiated. They planned to take over the government, with General Butler's help.
Thank God Butler was a true hero, and a true patriot. He reported the plot to congress where, because of the wealth and influence of the traitors (including Prescott Bush, grandfather of you-know-who), nothing was done.

Don't believe it? look it up.
Then tell me why this isn't on the curriculum for every high school civics class.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Show us the money!

How much is the Iraq war costing us? According to one estimate published in 2006 by the National Priorities Project, the war costs about 255 million dollars a day. Today the total cost as calculated by the NPP, is 471 billion dollars.
Estimates of total long-term costs range from 1.2 to 3.5 trillion dollars.
Imagine instead of shipping all those soldiers and equipment and supplies and everything involved in starting the war over there, imagine instead if we had just decided to burn the money up till now. We could have people burning hundred dollar bills on the mall in Washington D.C. We could have had 4 hundred and seventy one billion people ( approximately the entire adult population of the planet) each burn a hundred dollar bill. Or say, if we don’t want that many people in D.C. ( not enough toilets for them all probably) we could have just one thousand people burning hundred dollar bills. Each person would only have to burn 4 million 7 hundred and 10 thousand, hundred dollar bills. If it takes 2 minutes to burn each bill, that would take only about 18 years to get rid of all that money.
So all those people would be alive still, all our soldiers, and all the half million Iraqis who have died as a result of the war. All those soldier, the hundred thousand or so who have lost limbs, eyes, brains, they would be living a normal life today. All the millions of gallons of gas burned in the millions of miles traveled by humvees and strikers and helicopters and all the thousands of trucks transporting all the fuel and supplies, all that gas would be available for us here in the U.S. Our army, wouldn’t be broken, demoralized, and about out of fresh soldiers. Our National Guard would be home, with their equipment to defend the homeland and help in emergencies.
We would be so far ahead of where we are now, and our thousand volunteers could still be merrily burning hundred dollar bills until 2021!
How about Saddam Hussein, though, isn’t it worth it to be rid of him? Well, who knows, maybe his own people might have gotten rid of him by now. Maybe he would have died of a heart attack or stroke. Maybe he would have been struck by lightning. Maybe the Iranians would have taken him on. Maybe he would have kept Iran too busy to work on nuclear research. Maybe the religious extremists, the Shiite crazies and the Sunni fundamentalists wouldn’t be beating up and murdering each other and everyone else in the way.
One thing we can say for sure. We have spent an ungodly amount of money and haven’t received one positive result from it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let's over-extend some more!

Michael O’Hanlon and Frederick Kagan, who were among the early members of the neocon conspiracy to start a “pre-emptive” war with Iraq, are at it again. (
Now they are talking about getting the U.S. military mired down in Pakistan. ARE THEY COMPLETELY INSANE? What is it about an overextended, quagmire, public relations disaster, humanitarian crisis, destabilizing, financially ruinous, total bloody mess, that they want to repeat?
These people are like little boys with toy soldiers that they just have throw into battle. Do any of them have the capacity to understand the flesh and bloody reality of war, the deaths and unending hatreds that are spawned by arrogant clean-handed, soft-skinned “think-tankers” such as themselves?
Don’t they understand that empires always come crashing down, and the more they over-reach, the sooner they fall? Did they ever hear of Rome which was destroyed when the barbarians invaded the capitol while the legions were occupied on the borders? Or WWI, when the Austro-Hungarian empire , the Russian empire, and the Ottoman empire, were destroyed because of the hubris of their leaders and the total inability to foresee the dreadful consequences of their actions?
Why is their vision always myopically focused on violent solutions? Is it limited thought capacity or simply testosterone poisoning?
Let’s try thinking outside the box. For example, say we put the trillion dollars we spent on the war into developing alternate sustainable energy sources, along with education about conservation. Then we share the knowledge with everyone in the world. No one would have the excuse of needing nuclear technology, and we might have enough credibility as a nation dedicated to justice and peace to form a genuine coalition to keep crazy dictators under control.
Let’s take our lessons from the truly brilliant leaders. Elizabeth Tudor inherited a throne that was on shaky ground, politically and economically. She was beset with threats external and internal, from the religious extremists both Catholic and Protestant. England was caught in the vise between France, Scotland, and Spain. It was a divided, traumatized country. How did Elizabeth, a weak, feeble woman bring her country to the pinnacle of its glory days, the days of Shakespeare, and Raleigh? She abhorred war, detested extremism, and valued diplomacy. She used the tools at hand, diplomacy, trade, and brains.
America has given the world so much with our creative, hard working thinkers, from Thomas Jefferson (“I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind”), and Thomas Edison, to the scientific thinkers who put humans on the moon, invented the internet, and decoded the human genome. There has to be a way we can deal with our problems, and the world’s problems, that doesn’t involve bombs, bullets, and blood. All it will take is intelligence, creativity, and will. Tragically, these are characteristics our current policy-makers lack.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why call it Brushfires?

Fire is a tremendously potent symbol for humans. We have used fire to warm ourselves and feed ourselves since Neanderthal times, maybe even earlier. One of our most powerful myths tells the story of Promethius, who defied the gods and suffers unending punishment, to bring the gift of fire to humans. We use fire to purify our food, to save us from dying in the frozen black night, to keep the wild animals, and nightmare spirits from our door.
We have used fire to fertilize the Earth, to purify heretic souls, and to symbolize the undying truths we can't otherwise express. The eternal flame at Arlington and the burning bush that spoke to Moses represent the divine spark that flickers in us all.
The real power of fire results from its ability to decompose matter to its essential elements; to clear away the brushy overgrown trash and reveal the underlying structure of truth.
I hope by writing my thoughts in here that I can clear away the debris in my cluttered mind and light a spark to share with others.