Monday, January 9, 2012

Okay, Now I Finally “Get it”

I had the U.S. military pegged all wrong. I thought the function of the military was to preserve our national security by maintaining sufficient firepower to repel any foreign invasion, and to keep a nuclear deterrent force that would assure the destruction of any foreign nuclear power that attacked us. But dumb me. Now I know that this picture is SO cold war. Threatened by defense budget cuts, Panetta and his Republican toadies have given us a true picture of our military strategy— which is indistinguishable from our foreign policy. We need 800 billion a year, not just to stay safe, but (in Panetta’s words) to “maintain our foreign commitments.” We have a military presence in 130 nations, which is 60% of all the nations on the planet. These are not Marines guarding an embassy. These are American troops and weapons meant to assure the security of foreign countries so they won’t need to waste their own money and resources to provide strong armies and weapons systems and military infrastructures of their own.

There’s a high school analogy for everything in life. I used to think that the United States was analogous to the high school bully who threatened others with force and intimidation to get his own way. That’s the wrong analogy. The United States is the smarmy but clueless rich kid who buys lunch for everyone else and bribes schoolmates with whatever it takes to make him popular. Now that I know my tax money goes to buy American popularity in the world community, I have a solution for the problems of Iran and North Korea. Why don’t we just ask them how much we need to pay them to be our friends?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stupidity or Incompetence?

Each time Obama talks about reducing spending on the U.S. military, the Republicans carry the water for the Pentagon and declare that this puts American safety in jeopardy. Only two logical underpinnings can explain the enormity of the Pentagon budget. Maybe the U.S. really DOESN’T need to spend 10 times more than any other nation on earth on its military in order to be as safe as everyone else, in which case our level of military spending is just plain stupid. Or else, we DO need to spend 10 times more in order to be safe, in which case our military is just plain incompetent. It’s one or the other.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Touched By the Fickle Finger of the Lord

Timtim Tebow prayed yesterday, but the bloom seems to be off the rose in his relationship with Jesus— unless you consider a solitary field goal to be a gift from Heaven. True believers in Denver are saying that Tebow is so touched by righteousness that he can even make the playoffs by losing, but the truth is that The Big Tebowski might as well pack it in. Word leaking out from the odds makers in Las Vegas is that Jesus has discovered an NFL team composed of nothing but Saints.