Here’s what went on in Afghanistan over the weekend. The Taliban killed a woman for having an affair. They did it in public, with a bunch of other mutts sitting on a hillside watching like some of us do here in America when we watch a road race. A guy pumped nine bullets into her, while another guy stood backup with what looks to be a Kalashnikov – the Taliban’s gun of choice. I guess he was there in case the woman was hiding a rock under her burka for self defense.

After that, those kooky Talibaniacs killed six of our guys – troops – by blowing them up while in their armored vehicle. Right. A homemade, hidden in the dirt device took out six of our troops by blowing up what is supposed to be a well protected HumVee , or other such truck. No wonder we can’t beat them. I want to know who builds our armored Hummer’s. I want to know if they use the same company and stuff used to bullet-proof the president’s limo, or if this too has been outsourced to India.

LK and I had a long talk this morning about the cost of these wars, in particular this most insane one in Afghanistan. Our debt is beyond payback level, and after reading the staggering REAL cost of that mess, we proceeded to darken one another’s morning to the point where each of us uttered, “Well..uh…I gotta go,” just to get off the phone.

But I want – again – to talk about the loss of our soldiers for no reason. Correct. No reason. We are not – by being over there, discouraging terrorism. See Iraq, where warlords and other scum re-bloomed about 12 minutes after we left. We are not going to change these animals into human beings.  I used to think, well – it’s a culture we just don’t understand, so how can I judge them? I was wrong. They are insane. They are the lowest form of life on the planet. Even grub worms don’t make the females of the species dress up like black band-aids.

What is this administration thinking? That we will turn these slime balls into – I don’t know – the French? That some day, we will see an Afghanistan where ex-terrorists sit sipping Starbucks at an outdoor cafe, then taking their women out for a stroll along the Kabul river before dinner at Ahmed’s Desert View Cuisine? Yes. It is that absurd. But take away my ridiculous sarcasm, and that is JUST what they are thinking – make them like us. It is not going to happen! Ever! Never!

Gandhi said, “Exploitation and domination of one nation over another can have no place in a world striving to put an end to all war.”

Make no mistake about it, we are trying to exploit and dominate the world. STOP IT!!!!

Urinating In Public

This is cold, politically way incorrect, and what I believe to be true:

If you take our armed forces, which are made up, to a shamefully disproportionate degree, of poorly educated service men and women who come from the lower economic rungs of our society, and put them in a living hell on a regular basis, they’re not going to extrapolate as to the geopolitical ramifications of pissing on guys who 5 minutes ago were trying to kill them and/or their buddies, and may well have succeeded to some degree.

They forgot their sensitivity training because it wasn’t nearly as convincing or intensive as the indoctrination they received to defend and attack,  which reinforced, then ultimately distorted their primal instincts for self-preservation.  The utterly foul Petri dish that Bush and Cheney dropped them into, and Obama and Clinton did nothing to extricate them from, was and remains a breeding ground for vile acts that human beings have committed on a regular basis throughout history.

If  you want justice, punish the puppeteers, not the puppets.

Three Pre-Apocalyptic Wishes

Okay, it’s the end of the world according to Nostradamus, the Mayans and the Alex Jones Infowars channel.  Thinking about being ended this year made me realize that initially at least, I have the capacity of being a shallow, pathetic dope.

I asked myself what I would do if this was it. If I knew for sure that say by next Wednesday everything was just gone.  My immediate bonehead ideas were 1.  Buy the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport…the fastest car in the world – and drive it as fast as it can go , which is 253 mph.  2. Buy the L115A Long Range Rifle – the best sniper rifle in the world, and shoot a bunch of Taliban guys just as they were getting ready to rape someone.  3.  Move next door to Angelina Jolie and take her for a ride in my new Bugatti.  And 4.  Drive Angie and me to NYC to find Donald Trump and punch him in the face.

Now of course, all of that is just simple self-entertaining nonsense, and I fully realize that I would do none of those things because none of those things have any true meaning.  But then comes the puzzle – why bother with meaning if this is all over – including my inherent awareness of myself?  And then that irritating God thing comes up and I have to start all over.  Was it the fear or love of God that kept me from just letting go of all restraints and tearing through this life like a mad dog?  Or was there some gene plugged in during mom and pop’s coitus?  The truth – at least my truth when giving this some heavy thought, is that one dies like one lived.  I believe that having gone so many years traveling what I assumed to be the correct path, the right thing to do, the way to be, and so on, has been so deeply deposited into my psyche that even now, knowing that Wednesday next is the end of everything, I would behave in exactly the same manner I did all those hundreds upon hundreds of past regular Wednesdays.

And so, if the Mayans are in fact correct, there will be people stealing, raping, killing, and doing all kinds of bad stuff. But I believe that those people have been struggling with keeping themselves under control all along.  The majority of us will just sit, realizing there is nothing else we can nor need to do.

As for me, my Bugatti -Jolie imaginings washed away for the comical absurdities they were, I would gather my family and try to keep them from the panic and fear that accompanies any unknown.   I would hold them close, and laugh and cry and run through memories and even discuss what is next for us since we all, my family that is, have a belief in an afterlife.  And whether that afterlife is man made fodder created to keep everyone from cracking up at the thought of death, or a mystical, spiritual truth doesn’t matter.  Hope is what has helped me and my loved ones through this life.  To drop it now would be as illogical as shooting up the Taliban.

Still, there is a tiny part of that sniper thing that gives me a smile.  Gonna have to talk that over with God next Wednesday.

Oscar Sounds Off

LK here.  A few days ago I received a missive from “Oscar the Observer”, once an employer of mine, who I’m now honored to call a mentor.  The man is no liberal Mr. Softee; he believes in a hard day’s work for a good day’s pay, but he also believes that every citizen should be given the tools to be able to compete for that hard day’s work.

I don’t agree with every last word in his piece, although we disagree more on how to get where we’re going than the destination itself.  And his final paragraph re Afghanistan and our inability to change a culture, and particularly its abhorrent attitude towards women, is something I’m resigned to as well.

Other than that, his innate optimism is in full regalia, as is his belief in the “can do” spirit of America, a belief nurtured as a child of the depression and WWII.  Killjoy that I can be, I wrote back that he continually frustrates me by retaining the belief that ethical, objective, even-handed thought is worth anything more than a rat’s ass in today’s irrevocably corrupt world, and that additionally, cynicism is the new reality.

Here’s his response:

Yes, to an extent, cynicism is the new reality ——- but my view is that distortion is more the new reality.

It amazes me, as cynical as I am about American intellect, that Republicans have succeeded so emphatically by their self-serving ignorance that has resulted in such gullibility by Americans, and especially the “independents” and blue dog Dems.  Everything the Republicans have promoted and pontificated about is completely wrong and adverse to pulling out of this recession.  And their ignorance has resonated as “moderation” with too many Americans.

I majored in Economics in college.  In the 1950’s, I was studying Economics in the midst of the “Eisenhower Recession” and consequently a lot of attention was given to the parallels of the Depression (the 1930’s) and the fits and starts of Roosevelt’s administration to overcome the worldwide recession and depression, which finally ended by deficit financing without limits to finance our and our allies’ armies and navies for World War II.  A large part of that financing came in the form of War Bonds that Americans bought to aid the war effort, and those debt instruments were paid off after the war in an economy that was on the upswing.  The Republican morons in Congress, who control and influence their party as if it were Stalin’s Russia, seem to me to be completely ignorant of Economics, and blind to the factors such as  the “circular flow of money,” confusing “pump priming” (Keynes and Galbraith) as being antithetical to reducing “waste.”  Congress threw a crimp into Roosevelt’s programs in 1938 by cutting off a lot of money (out of panic that our national debt was out of control), and that resulted in a double dip to the recession until we started to get ready for war, in 1940, and began manufacturing for the Lend-Lease program.

I am in favor of the broad aspects of the Simpson-Bowles plan.  We need to try it to see if it works and see if it can hold down long-term debt without crippling current economic policy to overcome the recession.  (We also need to energize American corporations and industry to begin manufacturing things here that are unnecessarily manufactured in China —– the same “patriotic” mindset that resulted in buying War Bonds instead of just putting money in the bank is needed to be brought to bear in a constant and emphatic ”Make It In America” campaign.  Why the hell is almost every tool in Sears made in China?  We must reduce our tendency to manufacture in China and bring our balance of payments back to realistic levels.  We have to eliminate our knee-jerk reaction to have everything manufactured in China that neuters our industrial ability and idles our labor force; American workers earning salaries in factories and in vertically integrated businesses that result from increased industrial productivity enables more workers here to buy products and keep the circular flow of money chugging along.)

I point out that Paul Krugman, the first day that the Obama Administration proposed the $700,000,000,000 stimulus package, went on record forcefully, writing that it would be insufficient, that at least $1,200,000,000,ooo or $1,300,000,000,000 was necessary to stimulate the economy enough.  He said $700,000,000,000 was only a start, and should not be regarded as the limit.  He was right.  Here’s the evidence:  Bernanke will throw $600,000,000,000 more into the economy over a short period of time.

And before we let the Congressional morons who are devoid of understanding economics and history pull the wool over Americas eyes further until we are completely blind, let’s remember that Bernanke, as a Princeton professor, came to prominence through his study and analysis of the Great Depression; he knows that constricting the economy and abandoning deficit financing prolongs the economic malaise and paralysis.

The Republicans resisted and tried to prevent the stimulus package.  They were stupid, still stuck in Herbert Hooverville.  At the core of their interference with support for programs and legislation that will get more money into the economy that will drive the circular flow of money is their plan to reduce the stimulus package by making Obama use the unspent stimulus money for continuation of unemployment benefits, etc.  Okay.  So, instead of selling out on the Bush tax breaks, Obama should spend the money from the stimulus package for the unemployment extension —— and Bernanke can just increase his, in effect, “additional stimulus package” by the amount deducted from the $700,000,000,000, if need be.

One last thing:  Until we get out of Afghanistan, there will continue to be a pervasive, crippling drain on our economy and weakening of America politically and in world affairs .  It’s time to say “Sayonara” to Karzai and let him be executed by the Taliban.  I believe we can preserve our safety and deal with Afghanistan as a haven for Al Qaeda by bombing Afghanistan whenever necessary.  They’ll get the message that it’s safer just to terrorize Afghanis than to establish Al Qaeda training camps.  It seems clear to me that we will never, never be able to overcome the culture of corruption in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.  No matter what we do we cannot protect women from domination by Islamic mores in those countries.  It’s unfortunate, but if we can’t deal with reality we are condemning ourselves to constant failure.

Afghan Killers and Klingons – PodKast

LK finds some eerie similarities between the fictional Klingons from Star Trek and the Afghan wretches who executed 10 civilian aid workers.

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