Monday, December 07, 2009

The War on Terror

I heard President Obama speak about Afghanistan and how he was going to send another 30,000 troops to that country. I think it's a bad idea. I don't know what to say -- I voted for him.

Maybe I just heard what I wanted to hear when we had the election last year -- how Obama said he wanted to get our troops out of Iraq. I heard that part. But when he talked about Afghanistan, I thought he was kidding -- you know, some campaign rhetoric to make him look like he wasn't afraid of a fight.

Now I find out he wasn't kidding. Somehow, our military forces are supposed to accomplish something in that far away country. And then the troops will come back home again.

I'm very skeptical. We still have 28, 000 troops in South Korea. We have not yet won the war in Korea. There has been no victory and no parade, just a tense truce, and going on 50 years now.

Why would it be any different in Afghanistan?

Somehow, in Afghanistan, they're going to build up an army which will look respectable in Western eyes, and when that happens the troops come home.

It doesn't make any sense. But I voted for the guy, so I don't know what to say.

LACONNER TOWN COUNCIL REDUCES THEIR OWN BENEFITS. In an almost unheard of development, the LaConner Town Council voted to discontinue their own health care benefits. This should be national news. It is exceedingly rare for a legislative body to reduces its own pay or benefits.
But they did it in LaConner, by a fair and square vote, taking money out of their own pockets, as it were.

The town had been paying the health insurance of town council members at a cost of over $30,000 per year -- which was a nice little fringe benefit if you could manage to get elected. But this year revenue was too tight, and voters were saying to cut back expenses anywhere possible, so the town council did the right thing and eliminated their own town-paid health insurance. It can't be easy to give up something like that

The council members do have alternate means of obtaining health insurance, but it will cost them money out of their own pockets.

THE WINTER OLYMPICS IN VANCOUVER. The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are a looming disaster. It would be a hollow gesture on my part to boycott the event. The fact is that tickets are incredibly expensive and nobody I know can afford to go.

The site of the Olympics is a only a two-hour drive from LaConner, but you have to get across the border.

That used to so easy. Now, crossing the border in to Canada or coming back can be a nightmare -- long waits and being asked stupid question by intimidating border patrol agents.

It's not like it happens very often -- a hassle at the border. But it used to never happen at all.

Anyway, seats at the Winter Olympics are reserved for the global elite. The rest of us can watch it on TV.


War on Terrorism

War on Drugs

War on Crime

War on Poverty

This dates me, but when I came on the scene, we had the “War on Poverty,” which didn’t work because (a) we didn’t try hard enough, and (b) we got distracted by the War in Viet Nam, which didn’t work either.

Then we had the War on Crime, which worked because crime statistics are way down, But it didn’t really work because everyone is still too scared, and there are too many young men in prison.

Then we had the War on Drugs, which hasn’t worked at all -- there are tons of illegal drugs everywhere.

Now we have the War on Terrorism. In this case expectations are being carefully managed: This war, we are being told, will go on for a long time.

Oh, I forgot: we had the War on Communism. It’s over and we won.

But we still have these four enemies, these four horrifying horsemen: poverty, crime, drugs, and terrorism -- all misery, all connected, each one causing the other.

Taking it all together, I think we should go back to the War on Poverty -- that being the best way to work on solving these problems.

KUKLA, FRAN & OLLIE. Kukla, Fran & Ollie decorate their Christmas tree on YouTube.

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