Republicans will take an indefensible cause give it a patriotic name, spin it, double down, defend it with smoke and mirrors and sell it to the punters.
Democrats will take a defensible humanitarian cause; avoid defending it for fear of Republican reprisal, while trying to keep a low profile; believing that if they take no stand they can’t be accused of backing an unpopular issue during their next run for office.
I think this is definitely a Democratic politician - No stand is a good stand!
A republican would have screamed about moral depravity and invoked God and family values.
President Obama’s speech calling for a two state solution to the Israeli and Palestine tension has angered many entrenched in religious dogma and those who blindly oppose anything Obama.
The world is more dangerous today than at any time in our history. The fanaticism of the Middle East combined with the advances in nuclear weaponry has created a scenario of destruction that is unfathomable.
Our danger comes from the theocratic Moslem world and the Israelis who keep pushing the envelope by expanding into Palestinian territory. This danger has been present for a number of decades, but President Bush accelerated the danger by invading Iraq and Afganistan.
Russia and the United States coexisted during the Regan era with the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction. If Russia preempted a nuclear attack they were assured we would respond in kind (and vice-versa.) To a religious Moslem death in a nuclear counter attack would be welcomed as an immediate path to a prominent place in heaven. Add to that the accomplishment of a nuclear first strike against a populated Israeli target and their glory would be increased exponentially.
If necessary we need to be capable of a decisive counterstrike against Moslem jihadist. The big question is how? When you are dealing with a nation of men who crave death through jihad there is little that offensive tactics can accomplish; but, we definitely should not entertain the occupation of a Moslem theocratic country as that acerbates and increases our risk.
OUR NUCLEAR STRIKE ABILITY.
As my grandmother and Adrian Monk would say, it’s a blessing…and a curse.
In 1939 three Jewish scientist, (Albert Einstein, Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner) who had fled to the United States in fear of Nazi persecution, wrote a joint letter to President Franklin Roosevelt waning him that scientist in Nazi Germany were working on the possibility of using uranium to produce an atomic bomb.
In 1942 President Roosevelt named J. Robert Oppenheimer as director of our Atomic Research Laboratory and tasked him with the development of our first nuclear weapon. Oppenheimer’s team of physicist included a number of Jews and Germans escaping Nazi aggression.
Producing a supercritical mass chain reaction from enriched uranium was an untested area of research. Scientist knew that if they used too little enriched uranium the neutrons would escape with out producing the chain reaction; but, they feared that too much uranium might produce a chain reaction that would destroy the entire research facility at Los Alamos and its nearly six thousand workers.
The bomb produced was six feet long, two feet in diameter and weighed four tons. On July 16th, 1945, at 5:30 a.m. Mountain Time, the bomb was detonated. The explosion was equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT. The temperature produced was hundreds of times hotter than the surface of the sun – the 100 foot steal tower the bomb had been mounted on was vaporized – the blast created a crater 1200 feet wide and 10 feet deep. Three miles of desert sand was turned to glass.
Today this bomb would be considered a toy. Thermonuclear bombs are many thousands of times more powerful than the early atomic bombs. New fission bomb technology has the potential of unlimited destruction, and the Neutron bomb is designed to kill all life while leaving structures intact. Science is capable today of building a single bomb that could destroy worlds.
MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION or just ASSURED DESTRUCTION?
We live in the most dangerous time since humans first stepped out of the trees and walked across the savannas. Our atmosphere is polluted; direct sun rays are becoming dangerous; our natural resources are dwindling; our water supply is depleting; our population is increasing toward saturation; religious fanaticism is destabilizing our coexistence; and, nuclear weaponry is becoming a holy grail of national militaries.
We are a little late to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear test band treaties have been an attempt to keep other nations from catching up with our nuclear capabilities. Even in our own hands nuclear weapons are not safe. With our nuclear code in the hands of a president that believes in a biblical Armageddon or a president that is experiencing dementia (or any number of scenarios) we could find ourselves in the middle of a Dr. Strangelove experience.
The only answer I can see is for us not to be the world leader but a leader as a member of the world community. Nationalism must give way to world membership. If we are to sustain this world for awhile longer the problems we are facing can only be solved through the combined cooperation of states in a democratic world authority. Perhaps this is idealism, and if that’s the case perhaps there is no hope. But one thing is certain – continuing on the present trajectory of national divisions and dissensions will be disastrous.
But, before we get to self-righteous we should remember that we are the only nation to ever have used nuclear weapons – and we used them against a civilian populous. We lost three-thousand people in 9-11 but we killed one quarter of a million men women and children in 1945 – and no birds sang.
You spend most of your life being careful not to offend other people. As an adult, you are concerned about your image. Above all, you don’t want to be seen as holding opinions that are not accepted by the main stream as politically correct.
I had a Kentucky grandmother who died in her nineties. She was brash, opinionated and often rude. Only now I realize that age conferred her that freedom; and that quite a bit of the volume of accepted mores of her day, she considered as fallacious. She spoke her mind, and she spoke the truth from her point of view.
In the Native villages in Alaska where I taught school, babies are celebrated. It doesn’t matter if the girl is thirteen and pregnant – the village will still celebrate the birth of the baby. Our society celebrates child birth and parents with large families. This is a politically correct more that needs to be addressed.
I could not have been a successful teacher and principal if I disliked kids. I don’t dislike kids – but I don’t like them either. Some individual children I like, but others I are a pain-in-the-ass to deal with.
To begin at the beginning, we are born - let’s start with babies. Young people want to have babies. It is part of our genetic code. A young man wants to prove he can make a baby and a young woman somehow feel fulfilled by producing a child. In both cases it is a passage to adulthood.
Everyone gets goo-goo eyes when they see a new baby. But let’s be real - babies aren’t cute. If you ran into a two hundred pound baby in a dark alley it would scare the hell out of you. The legs are too short and bowed, the body is too massive and the head is large beyond proportion. Add toothless and drooling with uncontrolled bowels to this and you'd have a monster.
It is only between the ages of three and five that children are appealing at all. They look human, they are potty trained and they are inquisitive and cute. But, I still prefer not to have them seated near me when I am at an expensive restaurant trying to enjoy a good meal – or at a play or a theater. Restaurants should have areas for adult seating – parents with squalling, bawling kids should be seated with other parents with squalling, bawling kids. That should be the consequence of parenthood.
You had them, you love them, but lets face it, teenagers can be a pain-in-the-ass. Why would anyone with a teenager in their house want to have another child? It is beyond me.
At any rate, having a child is the most environmentally polluting act that a couple will commit in their lifetime. The amount of energy the child will consume in its lifetime, the amount of waste the child will produce and the number of progenies the child will sire or birth impacts the earth like an environmental black hole.
Population control should be our number one environmental goal – but this concept is not viewed as politically correct. Celebrate the children. They are our future. Yes; and the future is doom if we don’t get control of the population growth.
Let’s look at some statistics:
The United States seems to be decreasing in the rate of population growth, but still increasing at an unsustainable rate.
Population clocks vary, but the two above are, in my opinion, the best.
Around 1800 the world population topped one billion;
• 1940 = 2 billion
• 1960 = 3 billion
• 1975 = 4 billion
• 1990 = 5 billion
• 2000 = 6 billion
• May 15, 2011 @ 8:56 a.m. = 6,903,44,053
The rate of population growth is a startling reality.
Along with increased population comes increased energy consumption, a necessary increase in food production, an increase in water consumption, an increase in competition for natural resources, an increase in highway traffic, an increase in crime; an increase in prison population; and in general, more people packed into cities and towns – requiring more services.
At what point will the earth reach its population capacity: ten billion; fifteen billion; twenty billion? I think it is reasonable to assume that within the next one hundred years the earth will max-out in its capacity to support human life.
Attitudes must change. We need to teach environmental studies as a required subject in high school, and stress that responsible family planning is a two child family.
During the Second World War (and I am old enough to remember it) people were encouraged to grow a Victory Garden. The premise was that there was a need to divert food to the troops fighting in Europe, and patriotic civilians could augment the demand by growing a few vegetables for themselves in whatever space they had available.
Attitudes have changed. Earlier, PBS television had a program called Victory Garden that gave advice to home gardeners. Now the program has turned into a travel log of exotic gardens around the world.
I sincerely feel that our commercial food supplies are not wholesome; that the cancer rates and other mental and physical illnesses can be attributed to our food supply.
Fishermen catch shrimp off the coast of Maine, but at the supermarket our shrimp comes from Thailand. I have been to Thailand and seen the rivers – and I do not want to eat shrimp caught there and shipped to Maine. Our vegetables come from Mexico and Peru and Southeast Asia, or from mega-farms out west that use pesticides and genetically modified plants. Growth hormones in cattle, pigs and even chickens may account for the size of youth (when I was young a kid six feet tall was considered tall – now when I go the gym at the local college young men six-two, six-three and even six-four are not unusual – not to mention the obesity of many of our young.)
On a more somber note: the current world population at 6:48 p.m. on May 8, 2011 is 7,109,994,264 (seven billion, one hundred nine million, nine hundred ninety four thousand and two hundred and sixty four) and increasing at a rate of approximately three people per second (http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop). It is estimated that the world population will be over twelve billion by the year 2050. At some point in the not to distant future we will exceed our ability to support and supply food and water for our human population.
Our technology has mutated us to a techno-dependent society. A disruption in our electric power would send our world in to chaos. We spend our days focused is on Bin Laden, wars, the economy and the president’s birth certificate – or the housewives of New Jersey...
Perhaps it is time for a reality check; a back to basics touchstone with mother earth. We can begin by focusing on the food we eat and our diet. Buying local and organic foods cost more, but we can know where and by whom our food is grown. We will be healthier by not consuming the unnaturally fat, plump chicken breast from Hannaford’s Super Market that are full of growth hormones and antibiotics, or the out of season vegetables grown in Peru, or the pre-packaged foods with the unpronounceable additives and food colors.
In the past – in Kentucky – my wife and I had a large garden that fed us for much of the year. Now, in Maine, we have a much smaller place and my wife and I buy as much local farm produce as possible, feeling that we are getting a safer food product and that we are supporting the local farmers. A farmers market is now open twice a week in our town and farm coops are springing up around the country.
Our house is small – on one half acre; but this year we intend to put in a small raised bed and also plant some herbs and vegetables among our flowers. Basically we plan to grow a salad garden with spinach, a couple of tomato plants, a couple of squash plants and a couple of bush cucumber plants. Our retirement income is meager, and to some extent the small extra food supply will be welcome – but even if we don’t harvest a lot of food – the effort will still feel good.
V for Victory Garden – a victory from the crazy status-quo.
I dropped my bike (Honda) off at North Country Harley/Honda in Augusta. While there my wife found a leather jacket on sell for 50% off. A very nice jacket. The tag said Harley Davidson an American Tradition. The label in the collar read Made in China...