Friday, October 28, 2011

Only way for "Occupy ..." to succeeed is to un-employ a lot of politicians

Occupy Wall Street, or any other convenient location where newspaper and television coverage might be, has become the latest American fad.

Right now, it is cool to be among the protestors. It is fashionable to make a little sign claiming to be among the “99%” of Americans oppressed by big business.

Let me first say that, I too, believe that Wall Street, or big business is partially responsible for much of the financial woes we face.

The other piece of this two-piece puzzle of what is wrong with America is our own government. Big business and our government have created a monster so large that I don’t believe even they can bring it under control … not that they want to.

First of all, I believe that a majority of the protestors, while they may believe in the cause, are only marching in protest in hopes of making the six o’clock news.

Americans are such hypocrites. They claim to want to tame big business but do their shopping at big-box stores that are among the leaders in corporate greed. They probably purchased the paper and markers to make their protest signs at the very same retail establishments that have made it their goal to put local family-owned companies out of business.

For many years, the word “monopoly,” was whispered any time a business became large enough to control even a regional market. Yet, with great skill and deliberation, a number of large businesses, from oil companies and grocery stores to lumber yards and even tax services have managed to organize into companies with enough clout, meaning money, to purchase political votes. That is what it is all about.

Protesters are saying, “Let us change big business.” We will never change big business until we succeed in getting rid of the corrupt political game. Our legislators don’t base their votes on what you, or I, want to happen in Washington. They vote based on what lobbyists for big business say. 

What is the most scary part of the whole scenario is that some politicians are becoming so brazen as to come right out and say, “We are doing it my way, I don’t care about your opinion.” We are dealing with just such an individual with our current governor who rammed Senate Bill 5 down our throats. Just how much money is it costing Ohioans to repeal Kasich’s idiocy?

My message to Americans is to stop looking for your personal 30 seconds of fame of having your face and cute little sign on the evening news. Exercise your right to vote and get the blood-sucking politicians who think that everything should be handed to Americans on a silver platter, a platter that they own and control, out of office.

Remember this as you watch the politicians make their speeches on how they will fix things and make life all rosy for you, if it looks too good to be true … it is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

10th anniversary of Afghan war means it is time to come home ... before it is too late

As we begin this last quarter of 2011, our country marks another somber milestone, the 10th anniversary of our war in Afghanistan.

For our troops it will be business as usual, for our military personnel are operating as they have for the past two-and-a-half centuries. They fight whomever they are told to fight, and they do so in a manner which does credit to themselves and to our country.

As we mark this anniversary, it is time to step back and take a look at what we have gained. No doubt, our world is safer now than ten years ago, at least from some aspects.

I am bothered by the stories I see, and read, about the Afghan people. My take is that they really do not want us there in the first place. 

This seems to be not much different than the war the Russians fought on that same ground. I see shades of Viet Nam. The French fought, and lost, their war in Viet Nam some years before we arrived on the scene.

We are in danger of allowing history to repeat itself. The war in Afghanistan runs the same risk as Viet Nam. The minute that American troops cease to be in the front lines, taking an active part in the fighting, the Afghan army will fold and war lords will again seize control of the ground that our troops fought, and died, to win. We will, once again, have spent more than a decade fighting and dying for … nothing.

Yes, we are fighting for human rights, too. No one wants to see the brutality that goes on in many other areas of the world. The question becomes, “Is it really any of our business?”

America has, since the post-Civil War era, considered itself the watchdog of the world. The problem seems to be though, that we think that our ways are always the best. This trait was not formed in America, it was brought across the seas from our European forefathers, but once on American soil, we sure perfected it.

Look at our ancestor’s attitude toward the American Indian tribes. Rather than even attempt to live with them, we just decided force them to live by our rules, in the tiny corners of the country that we were “kind” enough to grant to them. What gave us the right then? There were more of us and we were better armed. But, were we better people for it? 

Along the way, we also fought for some legitimate and noble causes, primarily in the two World Wars.

By and large, though, the majority of our wars have had serious political undercurrents. Afghanistan is no different. One has only to look at President Obama’s timeline for troop withdrawal. Do you think it coincidence that the bulk of American troops are scheduled to come home two months before the 2012 presidential elections? It is not just Obama. Politicians have been using our military as pawns for years.

Our political leaders’ single biggest mistake in wars is in not fighting to win. Sure, there are political implications with bringing in additional troops or taking a certain piece of ground. But we owe it to our troops to fight to win, rather than feeding them piece-meal into a grinder.

During the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur said, “There is no substitute for victory.” This American hero and Medal of Honor holder was relieved of duty shortly thereafter. The American political machine did not listen then and they still are not listening.

It is time for America to get out of the Middle East. It is time for Americans to live and let live. We must stop trying to force our way of life on others. I wonder if it ever occurred to our leaders that “they” would leave us alone if we would only leave “them” alone.