Archive for March, 2009

It’s just me

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Americans can no longer afford to underwrite a government that does not work. A condition of quasi-permanent crisis stretching across generations has distorted our Constitution with near disastrous results. To imagine at this juncture that installing some fresh face in the white house, transferring the control of congress from one party to the other, or embarking upon yet another effort to fix the national security apparatus will make much of a difference is to ignore decades of experience.

If you think this is just another one of my rants, think again. The title of this posting: “It’s just me” was a lie. The paragraph above was written by Andrew J. Bacevich in his book “The Limits of Power”. He is a retired US Army colonel and has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic Monthly. He has a sound reputation and credibility. He is the “anti-me”.

The good old days of welfare

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Remember how nice it was when we were upset about welfare going to the poor little black girl in the ghetto? Don’t you wish it was still like that? Now there is so much welfare dolled out to so many people that the tiny portion that goes to the truly poor people hardly matters. Isn’t it welfare any time the government gives money to any person or business? What does it matter if we call it medicare, social security, or anything else?  A rose by any other name… I find it disturbing that any welfare is dolled out without consideration to where it came from and the person who originally earned the money. Why is no thought given and no mention made of the damage that is always done to the people who are forced to “give”. But IF we are going to have welfare it should at least go to poor people.

Larger group – different rules?

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Imagine 10 people living on an island. How would they survive? Obviously they would have to be productive. They would have to hunt or grow food. They would have to build and maintain homes if they wanted a decent standard of living. Now imagine that one of those 10 people claims he has a way for them to all improve their lives. He claims they have a sluggish economy and he can make things better. How does he propose to do this? He points to a tree and explains: we are going to use the leaves from this tree as money. Each leaf will be one dollar. We will do all of our business in dollar-leaves from now on. I am going to pull 1000 leaves off of this tree for each person on the island! Thus now we all have leaf money to buy the things we need and our economic problems are solved. We will all have a higher standard of living!

The other 9 people on the island would most likely conclude that they should end their misery by ending the goof ball with the dopey idea. Why provide him with some of the results of their hard work when all he wants to do is pull worthless leaves off of trees?

Now let’s suppose we make the group 20 people rather than 10, has anything fundamentally changed? Will their problems now be solved by using leaves as money? How about if the group is 100 people? 100,000 people? So why is it that if we make the group 200 million people and call the man with the leaf idea Barack Obama, we all believe it?