Sunday, February 26, 2012

Precision Murder

That President Obama has been just as much a hawk as President Bush, if not more so, has been for the last three years a major source of embarrassment to liberals and some progressives. He seemed like the most peaceful of the leading candidates, but to be fair that was in comparison to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Then shortly after he was elected, on the expectation of what he was going to do instead of anything he had actually done, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

And he went on to expand the number of countries that had United States military involvement to include Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, as well as keeping up the military activity in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. He did keep his promise to withdraw from Iraq, but only after signaling that he intended to break that promise and keep the troops there indefinitely and thereby forcing the Iraqi government to force a withdrawal. Plus he continued the saber rattling against Iran.

So how is a liberal or progressive to cope with this embarrassment? Apparently the effort is to say that Obama's use of precision weapons somehow makes his interventions morally superior. The argument is that Bush carpet bombed from B-52s while Obama is very precise and surgical with his use of drone warfare.

Of course this overlooks how Obama is precise and surgical when he bombs emergency response teams from his previous bombing runs, and how Obama is precise and surgical when he bombs funeral processions that result from his previous bombing runs.

Because Obama's murder of innocent civilians is allegedly so much less indiscriminate than Bush's murder of innocent civilians, it is considered crude and unenlightened to say that the murder of innocent civilians by Obama is morally equivalent to the murder of innocent civilians by Bush.

There is one problem with that analysis: innocent civilians are still being killed either way. If a person murders an innocent, it doesn't matter if he used a chain saw or a scalpel, and it doesn't matter if he carefully selected the innocent rather than picking one at random. It also doesn’t matter if he killed two or ten. The person is still a murderer. Obama is still morally equivalent to Bush, and both are war criminals.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Social Security Default

In an interesting turn of events, the Congressional Budget Office has declared that Social Security will run out of money by 2020.

For years there have been two interpretations on when Social Security will actually be bankrupt. Those who believe in government also believed in the Social Security Trust fund, and therefore believed that when the Social Security Administration started disbursing more funds than it takes in that it would simply liquidate the treasury bonds and keep the program solvent for decades to come. Originally the end date was 2043, but it was moved up to 2036 due to deteriorating economic conditions.

Those who are less likely to believe the promises of politicians have long said that the due date for the bankruptcy of Social Security is 2018, the day that revenues start to exceed expenditures, and that would be a bankruptcy because the alleged trust fund does not exist. When Great Depression Two started that was moved up to 2017, and then moved up even further. Currently expenditures and revenues are nearly equal and all it will take to break the system will be a small jump in expenditures or a small drop in revenues.

But for the Congressional Budget Office to predict disaster for Social Security in the year 2020 is a startling admission. These people are paid to believe that the trust fund exists, so if they are predicting that the trust fund will be depleted that soon the situation must be pretty dire indeed.

The economy is deteriorating at an accelerating pace, but most people do not notice it at this time. This one item of news should be sending up alarm flags across the country, especially since it involves one of the most active voting blocs. This really is big news about how advanced the decay of the United States economy really is, since even the Congressional Budget Office is admitting to it and even CNN is reporting it.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Republicans are Jealous Lovers

After eight years of Bush it is apparent that Republicans love government. This love is on display with the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. Not only do Republicans love government, when they get government alone they dim the lights, put on some Barry Manilow, and try desperately to get government's bra off.

The problem is that the government is a fickle mistress and sometimes will dally with her other suitor, the Democrats.

This drives Republicans into a jealous rage, in which they bad-mouth the object of their desire as well as the competitor who has captured her attention. If they cannot have her than nobody should, so they describe in detail how bad she really is. They desire her, or at least lust for her, so they really do not have the words to describe her faults. But they do know someone who is repulsed by her, and they listen to what Libertarians say about her and repeat it as if they mean it.

But they only say those things about her when their mistress is away. They never describe her as an immoral and loose woman when they have her to themselves.

Democrats do not like it when their mistress strays back to another dalliance with the Republicans. But unlike the Republicans they genuinely love her as well as desire her, so when she strays they do not blame her fickleness and they do not badmouth her for leaving. Instead they attack their rival suitor exclusively.

They attack the Republican rival by accusing him of not really loving mistress government, and use his bitter jealous language as proof. The Democrats say that if the Republicans really desired government so much then they wouldn't use such horrible language. It is true that when government is dallying with the Democrats the Republicans do use harsh language, but what the Democrats don’t realize is that the language is the result of a jealous rage. The Democrats then go on to say that since the jealous words prove the Republicans don’t really desire her, they should stop trying to woo her.

It's not that the Republicans don't desire her, it's that they cannot stand sharing her. They never say such horrible things when she is shacking up with them for the night and collecting her pay for doing so, and each time say that they never really meant any of it and they'll never say such horrible things if she will just remain faithful. They'd love nothing more than to spend the rest of their life with government in an exclusive relationship even though they know she doesn't care about them at all and only cares about what she can get out of the relationship.

Libertarians, married to the idea of liberty, simply shake their heads at these two competitors trying to seduce a harlot.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

An Open Letter to Gary Johnson

Although there are those who thought it would be a bad idea, you did go ahead and switch to the Libertarian Party in an effort to continue your presidential campaign. Now that you have gone ahead and moved in to the Libertarian Party race, hopefully you will run a better campaign than you have been running so far.

There are a few problems you will have to overcome. After the 2008 campaign there are a number of active libertarians who are burned out on the "endorse someone famous" tactic, sacrificing someone who could effectively represent libertarian ideas to their fullest. The ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Root was a mistake that the party is still trying to live down, and even though you are better than either of them you are still campaigning in their shadow.

If you want to be an effective Libertarian Party candidate, you will have to come out of their shadow and prove that you are fully libertarian, much more so than those nominated the last time the Libertarian Party sacrificed purity for electoral gain.

And that means you will have to rethink a few of your associations within the Libertarian Party. Being seen as close to Wayne Root, who is almost bragging about how he is the one who brought you over, will never get you out of the shadow of the 2008 ticket. Those who seem the most pleased by your Libertarian Party candidacy are what people in the Libertarian Party call the "Reform Caucus." They are the ones responsible for the 2008 ticket that you have to run against.

The first and foremost way to come out of the shadow of the 2008 ticket is to take the purist libertarian position on foreign policy, as that is what divides the Libertarian Party the most strongly. Wayne Root campaigned actively in 2008 about how he was the pro-war candidate until he discovered that was a losing strategy.

You currently advocate returning all United States troops and that is a good position. But you also support entangling alliances. Neither side of any conflict should have any expectation of United States support. You need to become a purist on this issue. It will alienate many of those who currently are your most ardent supporters but it is necessary if your campaign is to not be a repeat of the 2008 disaster.

The other area where you could improve is in economics. It would be refreshing, in an ironic sort of way, if the Libertarian Party were to have a candidate strong on both civil policy and foreign policy yet weak on economics, but the standard bearer should be as good as possible on all three. Your position on the Federal Reserve and the Fair Tax are not positions embraced by libertarians in general.

Perhaps you could be forgiven your economic short-comings, but you need to embrace a hard-core foreign policy on your campaign if you wish to do so. You were a great example of what a Republican could be when you ran, but as a Libertarian there is room for needed improvements. Your current associates will not appreciate those improvements either. So you need to ask what is more important - your race or the party you are running in?