Sunday, September 28, 2014

It’s A Charade

It seems as if it may be time to take a look at what we know about Iraq, Syria, and the president of the United States.

We can begin with what we know about the honesty of the administration. Our experience begins in 2009 with the eight hundred billion dollar economic stimulus package, and the “shovel ready” infrastructure projects that didn’t exist. Then there was “Cash for Clunkers”, the program that was supposed to boost car sales and clean the environment but did just the opposite. The “salvation” of General Motors that resulted in the closing of hundreds of local dealerships across the country and the loss of thousands of jobs but left the United Auto Worker’s pensions that are still weighing the company down intact, and the eventual eleven billion dollar loss picked up by U.S. taxpayers.

The failure to pass immigration reform while the democrat party controlled both houses of Congress so that the issue could be used as a political cudgel in future elections.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 0bamaCare. The bill so big and obscure that it had to be passed before we could know what was in it. The bill that was argued as not being a tax, but was justified in its existence only as being a tax. The bill that would, under no circumstances provide taxpayer supported health care to those in the country illegally or government funded abortion services. The bill that was passed into law using parliamentary chicanery without a single minority vote. The bill that, it would seem, represents the essence of administration honesty. Thirty million more will be provided with health care, but the cost will actually go down. No one making less than $250,000 a year will see their taxes go up as much as a dime. Average families will see a cost savings of $2,400 every year. If you like your plan you can keep your plan. “Let me be clear. If you like your plan you can keep your plan.”. The roll out disaster. The constantly changing, and conflicting enrollment numbers. The ever changing and capricious enforcement of clearly worded statute.

In Libya the president was shamed into action by the Brits and French to try and prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, and after destabilizing the region tried to maintain an influential presence with a “light foot print”. The resulting attack on the embassy compound and the shameless, bald faced attempt to cover it up will make interesting reading for future readers of tragic comedy. After all, as the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously said in regard to the truth of the story, “What difference does it make?”.

In Egypt the U.S. helped to over throw a brutal and ruthless dictator in favor of an equally brutal and ruthless theocrat.

Brutal and ruthless dictatorial theocrats nearing possession of nuclear weapons in Iran bent on domination of the Persian Gulf region and the destruction of Israel are given a pass.

Which brings us to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Whatever your thoughts on the justification of U.S. intervention in the region in the first place it is a fact that 2009 Iraq was a safer place to live than Chicago. This did not happen by accident. Four thousand U.S. soldiers gave their lives for this peace. The tax payers of the United States paid over a trillion dollars for this state of calm. And just as this passivity did not come about by random chance, neither did its loss. The peace in Iraq and the sacrifices made to achieve it were traded away for domestic election gains.

Afghanistan will suffer the same fate as Iraq.

But now. Syria. What are we to make of the president’s decision to “bomb” the Islamic extremist ISIS/ISIL army in Iraq and Syria? He was willing to stand back while tens of thousands of Libyan civilians were killed. He was willing to stand back while the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own civilian populations in a conflict that has resulted in the deaths of over a hundred thousand men, women, and children, and made refugees of over a million more. He was willing to make worthless the sacrifice, freely given, of four thousand U.S. service personnel and over a trillion dollars in tax money. He is willing to publicly disregard the advice of his top military advisers, making clear to our adversaries what strategies we will and will not use. Why now, should anyone think, or believe for an instant that the president and his political advisors have any concern that is not based in electoral politics? Everything is to be announced “after the election”. He didn’t care about the Libyans, or his own consular staff. He didn’t care about the Syrians. He didn’t care about the Yazidis trapped on the mountain waiting certain death. He doesn’t care about the Kurds. He doesn’t care about the four thousand dead American service men and women or the money spent. His only care is the “fundamental transformation” of the United States of America into the communist utopia he learned it could be as a child, and he will do anything, say anything that helps him in that effort.

One possible scenario, a plausible one it seems, is that the president, his approval numbers now abysmal, is posturing ahead of the election to try and make the best of a bad situation. He is, after all, in his own mind, the president who “ends wars” not starts them. But it seems likely that after the election or the first of the year that the Congress, prodded by its constituency, will ask what the goal in Iraq is. The question will be asked: what are American taxpayers being asked to pay for. It will become obvious at that point that there is no answer. It will become obvious that “to degrade and destroy them” is something that the president can easily do from behind his teleprompter and not a military strategy or goal. The Congress will refuse by a narrow margin and the president will throw up his hands and say, “Well, I tried. Not my fault.”, all the while thinking to himself “Boy these rubes are SOOO stupid.”.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks

Monday, September 22, 2014


President Lyndon Baines Johnson once described his feelings about how the war in Vietnam was going this way: He said that sometimes “I feel like a hitchhiker on a Texas highway in the middle of a hailstorm; I can't run, I can't hide, and I can't make it go away.” And now America is like that Texas hitchhiker suffering in the environment of Barack 0bama’s foreign and domestic policies.

Barack Obama’s presidency will be a pretty fair reenactment of his Choom Gang days, when all there was to do was to think of solutions to problems that sounded worthy and just with no thought to the practicality of the actual implementation or the unintended consequences. Only now he has Billions of dollars to spend in the pretence of effective action.

He has confided to his advisors that he is more skillful than they, that he is more knowledgeable than they on every issue, except for military matters. In that regard virtually all he has to go on is ideology, having no care for the training or experience of his military advisors. And now we are faced with what people see as a threat and they’re letting their nervousness be felt by their elected representatives. And so now Mr. 0bama is stirring and he will strike the enemy who will not be named, but he is insincere. One such military advisor has paraphrased that “you don’t go to war with the Commander In Chief you want, you go to war with the one you have”. At the risk of seeming trite, I will quote Obiwan Kenobe in asking the question: “Who's the more foolish...the fool or the fool who follows him?”

Barack 0bama does not believe in the danger, he does not believe that weakness invites aggression, that a fight is necessary, or can be won. This is NOT a man to follow into a fight. This is NOT a man to lead your children into a fight. This is NOT a man to lead a nation into a fight.

And so here we are, like that Texas hitchhiker caught in a hailstorm: we can’t run, we can’t hide, and we can’t make it go away.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Coalition

Many people are concerned about the Islamic State. Almost everyone says that “Something Must Be Done”, but no one is quite sure exactly what. Will there be U.S. “boots on the ground”? Oh no no no. We will build a coalition it’s said. We will coordinate and supply. Provide some logistical support and air cover. If I were an American pilot I’d have some serious issues with that. Combat aircraft are some seriously complex machines, and seriously complex machines break. If your seriously complex machine breaks when you’re flying over hostile territory populated with men who seriously want to cut off your head, who do you want coming to rescue you?, and how long do you want to wait for them to get there? The local guys like the ones who were providing security for the embassy compound at Benghazi?, or the U.S. guys who won’t actually be stationed in the country? Sort of a toss up I guess.

As to the ability of the current administration to build a coalition there are doubts. The current occupant of the White House and his minions never supported the war in Iraq even after it had succeeded and the seedling of a viable representative government had been planted. History shows the success that can be achieved by leaving an adequate follow on force after just such conflicts in Japan, Germany, and Korea but the current administration showed no real interest or commitment to anything beside the domestically promised withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The dates were announced a year in advance. It was clear to everyone that that the U.S. government was willing to and in fact intent on making the sacrifice of over four thousand lives, thirty thousand wounded, and a monetary costs of well over a Trillion dollars, not to mention Iraqi casualties worth nothing. Who now will risk their own well being, their own blood, their own treasure to stand with a government with so little regard for its own?

The current U.S. government has helped blow up stable governments in Egypt, and Libya, cozied up to the regime in Iran, turning a blind eye to its nuclear intentions and its constantly restated vow and efforts to destroy Israel, shown concern and then turned its back on hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in Syria, removed missile defense systems from Poland and the Czech Republic in an effort to appease and show “flexibility” to Vladimir (The Impaler), stood idly by while the Crimean Peninsula was invaded and then annexed, and is supplying tuna melt sandwiches to the Ukrainian army as they are being invaded in stead of weapons.

Who will listen to the President and say to themselves “This is a man I can trust”?? Who believes that he intends to “stay the course”?

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.


One of the many headlines today read something like: One in four Americans open to secession. It was, by the way, also listed as a SHOCK POLL, although it hardly seems shocking to anyone who’s been paying attention to the daily goings on. The actual figure cited in the article was 23.9%. Another headline cited a University of Pennsylvania poll as unearthing the startling find that over 40% of the Americans sampled couldn’t identify which political party controls which house of Congress. The same study found that 35% of respondents were unable to name even one of the three branches of our government. You can easily find statistics showing that only 14% of Americans approve of the job that the Congress is doing, while another headline and article point out that trust in the mass media has returned to its all time low.

A casual reading of the above mentioned pieces seems to indicate that Americans, in General, are uneducated, ill-informed, short sighted, apathetic, and easily influenced by the media and government elites. Americans, again in general, have no idea how their government works, or is supposed to work and yet they express dissatisfaction with it. Who told them that the government is dysfunctional? That question is appropriate, because the statistics and “man on the street” interviews make it clear that the general population doesn’t have a clue.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Walk In The Sunset

The accusation is often hurled by some members, and the press that the congress of the United States has become dysfunctional and isn’t working the way it was intended, but this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the Congress is functioning EXACTLY as it was intended. The Framers recognized that there would be disagreement among the populace as to what laws and policy should be enacted, and at times this disagreement would be sharp, and nearly evenly divided. They also recognized that in order for a law or policy to have legitimacy in the eyes of the general population it must not only be favored by a simple majority of voters, but must enjoy the acceptance of a preponderance of the citizenry.

The change from selection of the Senate by state legislatures to direct election set the stages for the frequent polarization that we have recently seen.

It’s rather amusing to hear legislators speak of the lost days of comity in the congress. They speak of days when members were actually friends and socialized with one another, even across party lines. BALDERDASH. These are men and women who have no skin in the game. They are elected to spend other people’s money to make law that does not affect them, and to pretend that everyone should agree on what these policies should be is pure fantasy. I yearn for older days when occasionally a Senator would assault a colleague with his cane. I want for someone to be as concerned for my money and well being as I am, not a back scratcher who, after a wink and a nod to his comrades, will come home to a town meeting and tell me lies about the benefits that accrue to me from the ongoing sugar subsidies that he and his “good friends” have decided that I should pay for.

When we were on the prairie it was one thing for the Congress to take our hands firmly and walk with us into the sunset. It seemed comforting to believe that they really had our best interests in mind and at heart. Now that we’re in sight of the Pacific Ocean however, and can hear the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below that walk into the sunset seems much less reassuring.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.