Quincy close-up

Seems fairly obvious to me...

There's a lot of people in the U.S. these days looking for a massive reduction in the scope of the Federal government and more of those powers going to the individual states. Because when the nation was formed, in the 18th century, that's how it was.

Seems fairly obvious to me that this noble and folksy plan is completely idiotic. Why?

World War One. World War Two. Korea. Vietnam. Iraq (both times). Kosovo. Bosnia. Somalia.

Here's the thing. Some jack-hole back in 1914 or thereabouts decided that we needed to be the policeman of the world. When someone was oppressed, there we'd be, the red, white, and blue cape fluttering behind us. Well, first time out of the gate we did okay, but people still went back to their old ways once they got back from "over there."

After Pearl Harbor and D-Day, that changed.

Once the full atomic might of our Superpower was unleashed upon the enemy, we were hooked. We spend almost as much on our military as the entire rest of the world combined. Why? Because we've got to have the tools to do the job.

Now, let's be honest, if we'd had this change of heart about the Federal government under Bill Clinton and walked away then, we'd be reasonably well off right now. But we didn't. We put the Chimp-in-Chief in the Oval Office, he started his "Regime Change" war against Iraq, the economy, like that of the Soviet Union while they hemorrhaged money and lives on Afghanistan, is in the toilet. So, we should take away the power of the Federal government and give it to the individual fifty states. Let's hang tea-bags on our hats and send a message to Washington D.C.

Only problem there, and it's a big one, is that the infrastructure of being the World Police has been in place since 1941. Solidified in 1945. 66 years, for those keeping count. And we have no money to make these renovations. Again, had we been through this change of heart while Clinton was running the show, maybe it could have worked. We had a budget surplus of trillions. No states were on the edge of collapse due to finances. Maybe it would have worked. Maybe even 9/11 would not have made us take up that star-spangled cape again. Maybe the fifty little states could be happy, with only big states like New York and California even needing a foreign policy of any complexity.

Too late now, Tea Party. You can't have it both ways. You're either the World Police or you're a Third World Country at this point. Pick one.

The late Major Richard "Dick" Winters of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division said that the United States needed to be strong as Hell and kind as Christ. We haven't been. We look at the Roman Empire and we wonder how they did it. They did it by conquest and annexation. They conquered countries and then taxed them and exploited their people and resources. We just conquer them and walk away. And we expect them to love us when we kill 300,000 civilians as collateral damage, rape their women, destroy their infrastructure, and mock their faith.

Seems fairly obvious to me that we're now the loutish and spoiled High School star quarterback, just graduated and working as a mechanic in an auto repair shop in town, and on Saturday nights we'll hit the bar, get drunk, and bore everyone with tales of the glory days. That's where we are, as a nation, right now. And we're every bit as juvenile and arrogant and ignorant of the world in which we're living.

So we need to develop an exit strategy, if we want to return to the pastoral splendor of 1800. If we want a small America that minds its own business. But no one has an exit strategy. We're going to let the rest of the world team up to make us obsolete while we're arguing about whether the first African-American President was born in Hawaii, as he claims, or in Kenya. The United States bickers like toddlers over issues that could be settled, as often as not, if they took the time to read the fucking legislation that's being bickered over.

Make no mistake. I love my country. Much like other loving relationships, sometimes you can be pissed off at your love and find it repulsive. So that's about where I am now. I love the U.S., but if it gets taken down a peg or three, it might be good for the national character. I'd rather it didn't, since I love it and want to see it do well. But it might not be all bad if it stumbles a little. Or a lot.
  • Current Mood
    aggravated aggravated
Quincy close-up

Remembering History (To Avoid Inevitable Repetition)

George Santayana, 1863–1952, American philosopher and poet, b. Madrid, Spain.

1922 Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies. The philosopher meditates on diverse topics in this collection of essays written mainly during the war, while he was at Oxford and Cambridge. It also includes some postwar reflections on ethical and political concerns.

What governs the Englishman is his inner atmosphere, the weather in his soul. Instinctively the Englishman is no missionary, no conqueror. He prefers the country to the town, and home to foreign parts. He is rather glad and relieved if only natives will remain natives and strangers strangers, and at a comfortable distance from himself. Yet outwardly he is most hospitable and accepts almost anybody for the time being; he travels and conquers without a settled design, because he has the instinct of exploration. His adventures are all external; they change him so little that he is not afraid of them. He carries his English weather in his heart wherever he goes, and it becomes a cool spot in the desert, and a steady and sane oracle amongst all the deliriums of mankind. Never since the heroic days of Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, conspirators, churls, and fanatics manage to supplant him.
Quincy close-up

Wake Up Down There...

It's been over two years since I made use of this Blog. I'd more or less forgotten about it until Spammers triggered an email notification of their Spammy replies to a eulogy post for my late friend Virgo.

But the world has changed since the last post, and so have I. I think I've got a few things to say, so I'm applying the AED to the Blog to get its heart beating again.

More to come...
  • Current Music
    Air conditioning
Quincy close-up

Sixty-Seven Years Ago, On Another Sunday Morning...

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."
Quincy close-up

California's Prop 8...

To Anyone That Voted For Prop. 8

On August 17th, 1790, Moses Seixas sent a letter to invite newly elected President George Washington to visit the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island.

From George Washington's letter responding to Moses Seixas:

"For happily, the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens."

So, be happy while you can, as you delude yourselves that this war is over.

Parting thought - if you believe so much in America, that all men are created equal; that we all have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and if you can comprehend that researchers studying animals have determined that homosexuality is not limited to humans - it is not a choice - that penguins and giraffes have a marked propensity for homosexuality... in short, God made Gay people as well as "Straight" people, why do you set yourself as Judge?

If God truly does have a problem with it, is that not between the Lord God and the individual? Were you not called to love? Or is it all right to hate them if they're not like you?

You might wish to consider that you have missed the entire point of your faith.

As a post-script, Last night on CBS 2 News while covering the protests outside the LDS Temple in Los Angeles, Bishop Frank L. Stewart, founder of the "ZOE" Zoe Christian Fellowship in Whittier, California, was interviewed and said that the people of California had spoken, and those voting "No on 8" should, and I quote, "suck it up."

A law protecting the rights of a minority disliked by a majority has almost no hope of passing, unless decent compassionate people take up their cause. A "law" (I use the term generously) like Prop 8 taking away the fundamental dignity of another human being? Do I really need to advise you on that, Bishop? What did Christ Himself say the two greatest laws were?

You call yourself a Man of God, a Bishop... Shame on you, sir, for taking your position. You are an African-American man - how would you feel if in the mid 1960s the Civil Rights Act had not been passed, and as angry protestors rioted against the police, white clergymen took to the airwaves and said that you should just "suck it up?"

You're supposed to be protecting those that are oppressed, not oppressing them. Does God love sinners? Not sin, obviously, but those afflicted by it? What did God do to redeem them (and you, Bishop)? Should you not love your neighbor?

Shame on you!
Quincy close-up

The More Things Change...

Why Sarah Palin was selected:


Of special interest:

"[Her] most ardent promoter, however, was [Neocon propagandist, William] Kristol, and his enthusiasm became the talk of Alaska’s political circles."






Obama/Biden '08 - It's Time To Stop The Madness...

  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious
Quincy close-up

Fact Check

Getting a little weary of the lies and disinformation, and thought I'd make a small offering to the gods of education.


Or, to borrow the lyrics of an oldie-but-goodie:

"There ain't no good guys,
There ain't no bad guys,
There's only you and me and we just disagree."

So you might take a look at the behavior of our (likely soon-to-be) NATO allies in Georgia before throwing stones and aspersions at Russia... France and Germany had the right idea on this one...

Of course, we can't have a New American Century with a powerful Russia, so if you're a Bush/McCain supporter and are seeking a Casus belli, disregard all information in this post.



Quincy close-up

Of Lunar Landings and Absent Friends

On July 20th, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.

On July 20th, 2006, Kevin R. "Virgo" Postel suffered a series of heart attacks and died.

On July 20th, 2008 - Today - I'm missing Virgo. I wish he was still on this Earth to talk to. I'm sure if he were still alive, over this past week we'd have seen "Hellboy II; The Golden Army" and "The Dark Knight" (he enjoyed the originals for both) and sat down today to play some Traveller with Troy, Aragorn, Sean, Angela, and Jim, to commemorate good old Neil Armstrong stepping off that "Eagle" Lander ladder 39 years ago...

Instead, today, we remember, and we hope for the future, and we mourn the past.

Here's to One Giant Leap For Mankind and to Absent Friends. So it goes.
  • Current Music