Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's the End of the World As We Know It

... and I feel fine.

So, Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. Good for him, and good for everyone who voted for him. Did I? In a rare case of revealing my political cards: no. But neither did I vote for McCain. To be honest, I didn't vote... I tried to, but between forgetting where I'm registered (I found multiple voter registration cards), then figuring it out only to realize my truck isn't running, I, well... no excuses.

I wasn't going to vote for President this year, anyway. I did have a vote for my state's governor and senator, but whatever.

Anyway, Obama's going to be sworn in next January. He is going to try to "change" a helluva a lot of things. But, make no mistake, most of those changes don't stand a chance in Hades of happening. In fact, outside of his economic plan, I really doubt we'll see much real change at all. Ironically, it will be his own party that prevents it.

Seriously, hear me out. Right or wrong, Obama will be put under the most powerful microscope ever put on a President simply because he is black. As a result, he will have to run a near-perfect ship. And that means not only keeping the people who voted for him happy, but making as many of the people who didn't at least not unhappy. I do not envy that man and the tightrope he will be walking.

No, I'm not really worried for this country as far as the election goes. Not yet, anyway. Guns will not be outlawed, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will not come to sudden stops, and corporations will still run rampant.

I am, however, worried for this country as far as Obama's military and paramilitary ideas go. He wants to shrink DoD's budget. Bad idea. The way he wants to do it will unavoidably result in a smaller military. Bad idea. And I'm still rather concerned over the comments he made earlier this year regarding a gendarme of the United States. Ridiculously foolish idea.

He may be better for the economy, but he is not better for the security of this country.

But, he won. Fair and square. I anxiously await to see how he does his job, as, I'm sure, you do. Maybe he'll be a great President, maybe he'll suck. I figure he'll be at least fairly competent, but will not enter the history books as one of America's great Presidents such as Washington, Lincoln, and both Roosevelts. He will only enter the history books as being the one to break the race barrier in American politics. And, presidential effectiveness aside, that's a good thing.

Do your job, sir. That's all anyone can ask. Except, of course, for the wholly un-American people who will no doubt claim they want to leave this country now that Obama is President. Funny how those wholly un-American people who claimed they were going to leave under Bush are now shouting out that they're some sort of patriots. Bullshit... real American patriots tough out the times they hate as much as they enjoy the times the love, and that includes tolerating the leaders they don't much care for.

It is definitely the end of the world as we know it, and, yes, I feel just fine.


Anonymous said...

Well put Homeboy... I guess we'l have to se what happens... YOU FUCK'N ROCK ESE!!!

Posted by SEHR on November 5, 2008 - Wednesday - 12:41 AM

Anonymous said...

well said

Posted by Flowerbug&Razcal on November 5, 2008 - Wednesday - 7:07 AM

Anonymous said...

i find his economic policies to suck, honestly. But i'm laissez-faire, on economics, the market, and social issues. he's not. he's not a communist, a minute socialist, perhaps, but he's deffinately a B. F. Skinner or an Peregrine Worsthorne equalitarian (his comment "share the wealth" is not socialist, there is no wealth to share in true socialism, but is equalitarian, a type of parasite that feeds off a free society, demanding that those with ability serve those without, and claims that if one person can make money, then that money belongs to not only him but to those who could not make the money for themselves, and therefore, "equality" must be "preserved" in a perverted form of the 'action-reaction' law).

I voted for Bob Barr. Yes, I voted libertarian. big surprise, right? America is great, but after living in Prague, yes, I want to move back there. It was my plan before this election, and I didn't want either McCain or Obama. We won't see change in the next four years, though i think he will get us in another war. so would McCain. and honestly, our economy cannot handle another war. it can even sustain peace time functionality right now. but that goes into a huge conversation.

(I wonder if obama will tell america why they're building a transcontinential highway in texas right now that will go from the bottom of mexico to the top of canada, with no border stops?)

Posted by josh on November 5, 2008 - Wednesday - 11:52 AM

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you said, for a change. Of course, not about the military. We spend about as much money on our military as the rest of the world combined. Either we're spending overkill, we're planning on invading the entire rest of the world, or our military is terribly ineffective. Either way, our plans and its funding need to be adjusted. Personally, I think the biggest change with our military is that we need to come to grips with the nation building aspect of invasions. Either we need to retool it for nation building or team it up with another entity that does nation building. Military may technically win wars, but nation building is what prevents them from happening... again.

I don't think there were many threats over leaving the country if Obama is elected. Where would a stricken conservative go? We're the least socialist of the first world countries (politically incorrect term but I'm using it anyway) and conservatives hate the non first world countries. And honestly, even when Bush was elected I didn't hear about any credible threats by anyone to actually leave the country.

To all the conservatives out there, I have a couple of honest questions. Aren't you the least bit relieved that when you turn the television on and see the president, he's not going to sound luck Elmer Fudd come next year? Aren't you the least bit relieved that you'll no longer have a complete idiot representing your ideology?

Posted by Introspective Prophesier on November 5, 2008 - Wednesday - 12:58 PM

Anonymous said...

@josh: I'm no fan of his economic policies, either, but the fact of the matter is that (as you said) we can't sustain the economic model we're running with now. His model has no place in a long-term economy, either, but short-term, it is likely to help.

I, too, believe Obama will have to enter yet another theater of war. That's when many of his true colors will show.

As far as that highway, you're mistaken in assuming that it's customs and border patrol-free. It will not be, and I'm under the impression that the highway is to eventually run the length of North America. I personally like the idea of being able to drive from the tip of Alaska all the way to the Panama Canal.

Posted by JeffScape on November 5, 2008 - Wednesday - 6:58 PM

Anonymous said...

@IP: I am appalled at how completely incorrect your beliefs on how militaries and nation-building operates. Miltaries aside, nation-building has never been historically shown to ever prevent a war. The only two examples you could probably point to are post-WW2 Germany and Japan, but their "relative peacefulness" (despite having huge military budgets) came because their economies were fostered to be able to enter the ranks of the top economies of the world. Simply put, it would be impossible to do so for every such country that needs "nation-building."

You also contradict yourself heavily in the first paragraph. Which is it? Is the military supposed to be an effective war-winner? Or an effective police-occupier? Not only that, it's clear you're unaware that Obama's military cuts are supposedly going to be tightly aimed at specific "over-fat" programs, which is fine in-and-of itself, but he's apparently not a very good shot, if you get my meaning. Oh, and by the way, the US military no longer accounts for the majority of defense spending around the globe. Yes, we're still number one by a long shot, but that figure is declining, and we should always have the biggest stick. Teddy put it best.

While we're on the subject, let's look at Israel, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Iraq and Afghanistan (before we invaded)... the list goes on. Those were all "nation-built" countries. Didn't do very good jobs of staying out of wars, did they?

As far as the threats of leaving if Obama was elected, yes, there were plenty, and you clearly didn't read the comment left by the poster above you.

You also again betray your narrow scope with your statements "conservatives hate the non first world countries" and "Elmer Fudd." Never mind the "complete idiot" one.

Posted by JeffScape on November 5, 2008 - Wednesday - 7:04 PM

Anonymous said...

Does all of that really matter? In my opinion, we are all in trouble no matter what, (not that my opinon matters) right? At least Obama seemed to be the lesser of two evils. I am sorry you didn't get ot vote.
I have one quick question. Why is it, that most of my family is pro military? Mabey they want all the 18-25 year olds dead or something. Whatever, it does not matter.

Mabey in a perfect world everyone could be peaceful. Is'nt that the way it's supposed to be? I thought I'd voice my opinions (again I'm a stupid 18 year old thats no match for your 38 year old mentalilty)

Posted by Aaron on November 6, 2008 - Thursday - 11:35 PM

Anonymous said...

Let's see... yes, your opinion matters, but it doesn't help you quit high school when you were almost finished. Makes it hard to take you seriously.

Why wouldn't your family be pro-military? In fact, why would any American be anti-military? And your logic is ridiculous. Well over 90% of the people who serve in the military do not die in the military, so what does wanting all the 18-25 year-olds dead have to do with anything?

And then you go and criticize the lack of a peaceful, perfect world? That sort of makes a military a necessity, wouldn't you think?

Posted by JeffScape on November 7, 2008 - Friday - 6:43 AM

Anonymous said...

My point about the military is that its not properly equipped for nation building. You pointing out several examples of failed nation building actually supports my point. The military should be both a successful war-winner and occupier. It doesn't need to be one or the other. However, its currently a terrible occupier, thus the needed nation building aspect.

I strongly disagree with you over the prospect that nation building doesn't prevent conflict. The truth is, insurgencies such as the one we saw in Iraq occur for a major reason that people seem to overlook: poverty. When 40% of the country is jobless and as much or more are starving, without electricity, and without clean water, it tends to make them pissed off. I don't think its a coincedence that after the US changed it strategy in Iraq by basically bribing militant groups to work with us that violence declined. Money talks but unless we want to bribe them forever (not really possible) we'd better work on making sure they can find jobs in other endeavors. Infrastructure and economic growth would be good for the short term and long term prospects of peace. Ireland's a fairly good example of major violence evaporating after huge economic growth. The vast majority of most suicide bombers who strap explosives to their backs are poor. If you look at major violence the world over, poverty is always a root cause.

I think your military views betray your narrow scope. As you pointed it, we still have the biggest stick by far. So did Rome shortly before they fail. We won WW2 because our infrastructure was superior, not because we had a standing army twice as big as Japan's and Germany's combined. We could pump out weapons and materials of war quicker than anyone else. This means we need a reasonable sized standing army and a booming infrastructure. Right now our infrastructure is fading, and with it our ability to afford a large army. The number of political entities in history who were top dog up until the point they bankrupted themselves is numerous.

And any conservatives who threatens to leave the country because Obama is elected are likely to also be the kind that aren't fond of foreign countries. And to dispute that Bush is one of the most ignorant presidents in history betrays your rigid ideologies.

Posted by Introspective Prophesier on November 15, 2008 - Saturday - 1:20 PM

Anonymous said...

Every time you type something, you lose a bit of credibility. Nation-building (or state-building, whatever) doesn't work not because the occupying country lacks the means to "nation build," but because most of these nations we want to "nation build" don't want the so-called help. Africa and the Middle East will always be this way, sorry. Yugoslavia was heavily funded, stabilized, and, oops, look what happened. Arbitrary borders and different cultural perspectives are the problem, not the ability of any military to enforce a nation-building process. That's not the military's role.

Again, I challenge you, point to one example of nation-building working, outside of Germany and Japan. I could argue Cameroon, despite that country's relative poverty level. I can also point to other countries rife with poverty, yet somehow maintain a semblance of stability. Your logic is flawed and, ultimately, your conclusions are incorrect.

I will agree partially about the infrastructure, but disagree concerning the size of the military. Yes, we were heavily outnumbered, but that disparity was far more prominent in 1939 than it was as of Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941. FDR was no fool, and he signed the Two-Ocean Navy act during peacetime for a reason. And, since you obviously bother not to research anything in depth, our available ready-reserves prior to WWII were far larger than our ready-reserves are today... and let's not forget the small matter of an enacted drafting process.

Do you honestly think I give a shit if people threaten to leave this country? No, I don't, and since your comprehension is apparently askew, go back and read my original statement: I don't support such people (conservative or liberal) and never will.

And who's disputing Bush was a bad President? I'm not, and anyone who actually bothers to read my blogs knows that I am no fan. But to dumb yourself down and resort to name-calling lets everyone know you're a one-sided idiot. And that's a sad thing to be for one so smart.

Posted by JeffScape on November 15, 2008 - Saturday - 5:14 PM

Anonymous said...

Actually, its the lack of successful examples, other than Germany and Japan, that is my suggestion for a nation building component to the military (or a seperate entity to be used along side during an occupation). I can give examples of countries that stabalized due to economic growth, but finding a recent nation-building clear success after an invasion is not likely to happen since there hasn't been a serious attempt. Afghanistan could have been a success story in nation building, but we didn't try.

Countries rife with poverty with a "semblance of stability"? I'm sure you can find a "semblance of instability" in each of them too. In militant groups worldwide advocating overthrow of the government or violent terrorist activity you can find rampant poverty: Palestine, numerous places in South America, Iraq, Haiti. Even hate groups in the United States are swelled with individuals living disproportionately at the bottom of the economic ladder. The reason the US hasn't been devoured by these groups is because most of us are quite comfertable with our economic standing. That isn't so in other nations. The margins of poor are much bigger.

Again, I agree with most of the organizational changes you advocate in the military, but increased spending isn't somewhere we're going to see eye to eye. You want to spend more now, for a threat that doesn't exist and may never exist. Realistically, give me an example of a world power today that could defeat the United States. There isn't one. There isn't 2 or even 10. China is our greatest threat and biggest trading partner. The best way to stay ahead of them militarily is to stay ahead financially and technologically. Those involve investing in infrastructure, not huge bulky militaries.

And I don't advocating letting our military go to second best. I think we should stay the best, but right now, it isn't necessary to increase spending to do that. We could cut military spending in half and still be the best and most expensive.

Posted by Introspective Prophesier on November 20, 2008 - Thursday - 4:53 PM

Anonymous said...

There's no question that economic growth and stability is necessary for a nation to succeed as a nation, but that by no means guarantees a friendly government, nor does it guarantee that external forces won't destroy that government at a later time. You mention not trying in Afghanistan, but the fact is we did "nation build" Afghanistan a long time ago... just in time for the Soviet Union to come in and tear it all down.

Militaries should not be used to nation build. No way. Security? Yes, but the actual process? No. And, our military is actually very adept at building infrastructure, and has several units consisting of tens of thousands of soldiers and sailors dedicated for that very purpose. But a military is warfighting entity, and should stay that way. While it is easy to argue that corporations have screwed up many "nation building" operations in the past, it is still their realm to do so. Business is where things need to be worked out, not the Army.

As far as fundamentalist nations, well, until those nations moderate, it's not going to matter how much we help them out. Look at the Kurds. Suddenly, they're fast becoming our enemy. Sure, they don't have their own country, but their part of Iraq is very well developed, and all that might be coming to an end. It is also unlikely that unless a pro-Western oligarchy takes over Iran or Iraq, they will remain enemies... and we both know how well people like those types of governments.

You are also misinterpreting what I have been saying. Again, nowhere have I stated that DoD's budget should increase. Nowhere. In fact, it's not going to bother me if the budget decreases. But the level of implied decrease, combined with the programs targeted for cancellation or curtailment, creates a significant danger to out staying "first place."

As of today, you're right, there is no world power that can take us on. But we're not preparing for today, for today is already here. We're preparing for tomorrow. China will, within the next two decades, be on a very challenging footing with us. Russia will, too, and you underestimate Russia's ability to sustain itself. Russia's military industry is the fastest growing segment of their economy, and their level of exports are increasing at disproportionate levels to ours. It's insane.

And, yes, our military infrastructure is important, particularly industry's support of it. But what happens to all of those defense-oriented corporations who suddenly find their projects and orders canceled? Boeing, for example, seems to be in dire straits. We don't have a government-mandated military-industrial complex, and those companies can choose to leave the defense market if they so desire. Not only that, where is our personnel for "rapid buildup" going to come from? The draft is, currently, a paper tiger. Again, I ask, are you advocating reinstating it?

Posted by JeffScape on November 21, 2008 - Friday - 6:35 AM

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