Friday, October 26, 2012

Johnson Understands Drones Can Also Make Enemies

Why am I a libertarian?  It is about freedom.  It is about liberty. I have neither the wisdom nor the right to dictate how you should run your life.  I resist the encroachment and increase of government power not because I am callous, insensitive, indifferent or naive, but because I fear the next step down the road towards totalitarianism when the wrong politician takes the helm with that power.  There are dozens of real issues that will affect this country's future that neither the Democrats or Republicans will never address.  As an exercise try examining the drone war as something that will perpetuate and create problems for our country and our children instead of achieving the stated goal of keeping us safer.

Everyday the United States launches missiles into sovereign countries killing supposed evil terrorists hoping to do us harm, all done without oversight or limits.  If the idea of an American president ordering the deaths of these people as if he was the Sun King reincarnated is not loathsome enough, ponder this: we sit back and blithely ignore this extra-constitutional assassination program that kills the bad guys while scores of innocent people are killed as collateral damage, including children.  Think on that for a moment. You came home from work one day to find your neighbor's house obliterated and your own along with it, taking the lives of your children.  Come to find out your neighbor was a really bad man, possibly planning to do very bad things in another country, so that country blew up his house to ensure it did not happen.  Your world is shattered and your children dead because you had a bad neighbor, no other reason, how do you feel at that moment?  You are filled with rage, you now want to see that country destroyed, that country has made a very real enemy, one that is justified and righteous in his hatred.  Our foreign policy makes enemies like this everyday, and has been doing so for years.  It is not unpatriotic or disloyal to question whether or not our actions are keeping us safe or are actually starting to have the opposite effect.  Place yourself in the shoes of that man who comes home to that tragedy for just one moment;  what is your reaction to that horror?  Now ask yourself if killing that one bad guy, who given unlimited time, resources and luck MAY someday inflict some damage on the United States, was that worth staining the honor of the concept of America as a force for good that our children will have to carry?  If a Jihadi from Mali blew up an American school killing a dozen children there are people in this country who would advocate invasion and occupation as a response, and would feel righteous in their cause.  If the U.S. destroys a Malian school during a drone strike against a dangerous Jihadi, what should the world think of us?  I am not a peacenik, but I am tired of war.  A foreign policy that creates as many (if not a factorial more) enemies as it dispatches is utterly insane, and it ensures this cycle will continue on for decades.

Obama and Romney will continue this war and no one can deny that, and this is just one of a hundred issues that the two party system will not and can not address.  I support Gary Johnson because this is one of the many issues he understands ends up dragging our country further down rather than making it better and safer.  The video below perfectly encapsulates that and many other issues, and if nothing else you should try and pass it around to your friends and see if it starts to chip away at the idea that we must reside in this two party system.  If you believe that your individual action can not change the status quo, then you have ensured that the status quo will never change.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Big Bird and the Serious Conversation

Twitter and a few other social media outlets have been all aflutter with people stepping up to defend poor little Big Bird from Mitt Romney’s horrific slash & burn budget cuts.  This of course perfectly illustrates the reason that I have decided to throw as much support as I can muster behind Gary Johnson’s run for president.  We are talking about Big Bird and the very dire issue of cutting PBS funding.  This is the serious conversation we are supposed to be having about the future of this nation?  Lets get this into some perspective.

Mittens has bravely taken a stand to proclaim that he will not borrow money from China to fund PBS, giving the poor bird the pink slip, so the $445 MILLION that the CPB receives from the Federal budget is just a silly thing to borrow money from China for? OK then what about:

  • Borrowing $2.4 Billion (5 times as much) to fund the DEA and their incredibly wasteful and ultimately futile effort to wage a War on Drugs.  People die, people have their lives ruined, our court system is hopelessly clogged and our prisons overflowing all of which creates an extra, possibly incalculable, drag on the economy.  We can borrow money for that, no need to discuss altering that disastrous course, but Masterpiece Theatre can go screw.
  • Borrowing $9 Billion (20 times as much as PBS) to build Gerald R. Ford class nuclear aircraft carriers is reasonable.  The world is a very, very dangerous place, and as a reflection of that we spend more on defense than everyone else combined.  We spend an order of magnitude more than any single nation, friend or foe.  NOT including the wars we spend twice as much on defense today as we spent in 2003, and you remember how incredibly unsafe we were in 2003 don’t you?  Not only is the world incredibly dangerous and unsafe, Mitt believes America is not nearly safe enough, and needs to spend even more on Defense.  We have such existential threats as…as…China, right China, so it is not only logical, but necessary to borrow money from…well we really don’t need to finish that do we?
  • Take Defense, add Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid & the Social Safety net, Interest on the debt, and we have way more than 4000 PBS budgets.  Medicare freely admits it wastes $53 Billion per year, bare minimum, which means they openly piss away the PBS taxpayer tab every 74 hours.  They are more than a quarter of the way there since Mitt opened his mouth.  Ponder on that little nugget for a minute.

We could take up a thousand more pages with this, but it would get really depressing really fast.  This is the level of discourse we have though.  We have distilled it down to Big Bird.  I actually favor cutting PBS, I don’t believe it in on principle; and if the avalanche of Sesame Street merchandise my Mother has buried her grandchildren under is any indication then Elmo must live like a minor Greek god, let him find his own way in the world.  This has nothing to do with the arts, the cultural soul of our nation or anything else.  These two leviathans that make up our political system have crashed us into an iceberg.  $16 Trillion in debt, and neither of these duplicitous douche nozzles have any plan or even intention of keeping it from hitting $20 Trillion in the next four years.  How can we accept this as a people?  Can we say it out loud once and for all: The Republican Party screwed us all, running up a huge debt on pointless endeavors and giveaways to their interests groups?  Can we also say admit to ourselves that the Democrats were just as bad, just as shortsighted, and just as selfishly concerned with their pet projects and constituencies? Last night gave us more hollow slogans, empty rhetoric, naked pandering and just stupid, stupid little nuggets like the Big Bird thing.  So maybe you can never, ever see yourself stepping outside of the R and D dichotomy and pulling a lever for someone else, but you have to be asking yourself: is this all there is?  Wouldn't you at least like to see the two of them challenged, forced to move of script, address actual problems?  The debt and the deficit are supposedly the most important issue for people after jobs, did you honestly see a way out of that death spiral under the leadership of either of these mooks?  Despite all of the moderators efforts it should be clear that there is not a dimes worth of difference between these two - Big Government is their solution to all problems.  Having a real contrast on stage would at least shake the foundations a bit, force an actual serious conversation of serious issues for once.  Letting these two and their surrogates blather on unchallenged about Big Bird only reinforces the notion that these people are the crazy and naïve ones unfit to govern.

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