2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

I Love My Country But…..


I consider myself a patriot and I love my country but sometimes here lately I look around me and find myself saying something to the effect that “man this country seems like a sh#t hole anymore”.  Reasons for this seem all to numerous as of late but I will start with what everybody cares the most about, money and jobs.  You can’t get a good job anymore so that being the case nobody has any money.  That is nobody outside of Wall Street.  Can somebody please explain how the same companies who played leading roles in the recent economic melt down have been on a mega bender (making money hand over fist) during the last four years fueled by funny money courtesy of the FED.  So yeah you guessed it the FED prints phantom money to keep interest rates low and some of the main beneficiaries are the guys on Wall Street, incredible.  Getting back to the average Joe on the street even if you are fortunate enough to have a job we all know and understand that the jobs that are actually available today certainly are not like they used to be.  I mean many of these jobs are so bad that you would have to work 2 of them to make ends meet.  Don’t get me started on government workers.  I know many of you actually work hard but I also know that the wages you are paid do not correspond to what people are making in the private sector anymore.  A while back the local paper published the salaries of some government employees.  One of those happened to be a teacher (not a principal or some other specialist) with 10 years experience who made over $70,000 a year.  God bless all our teachers and literally thank God for the teachers in Connecticut many who I am sure paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting their students.  But $70,000 for an elementary school teacher (in Ohio, you know fly over territory) who only works 9 months a year, that is absurd especially in today’s economy.

Speaking of the Connecticut school shooting last week who would not think less of their fellow-man after something as horrendous as that?  What a horrible tragedy that also raises some disturbing questions about this country.  I generally support the 2nd Amendment but after this insane act of terror and murder against the most vulnerable in our society it does make you think hard about what you believe.  Anybody who says different has me a little concerned.  What I do know for sure is that I do still support the 2nd Amendment but I am open to ideas like stricter certification process especially for assault weapons.  Besides the tragedy itself one of the oddest things I have seen have been how many pro gun people have taken to Facebook to reaffirm their right to bear arms.  They see the tragedy and do not mention it but do find time to promote their beliefs, just seems a little odd.  Anyway this post could go on forever (that is a sad indictment on the state of the nation right there) but those were just a few things that popped into my mind.  Oh, and in spite of what I just said I still love my country!

 

The Fall Of The Athenian Republic


Below is a quote often attributed to a Alexander Tyler (although it is unverified), a Scottish professor who was active in the late 18th century and early 19th century.

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance, From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy, From apathy to dependence, From dependence back into bondage.”

http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1062343/posts

Global Trends 2030, Some Brief Highlights


The cover of the report that gives the reader a glimpse of how the US intelligence community see the world and America in 2030.

The cover of the report that gives the reader a glimpse of how the US intelligence community see the world and America in 2030.

“The US most likely will remain “frst among equals”among the other great powers in 2030 because of its preeminence across a range of power dimensions and legacies of its leadership role. More important than just its economic weight, the United States’dominant role in international politics has derived from its preponderance across the board in both hard and soft power.”

So I spent much of the day yesterday reading over the National Intelligence Council’s new work Global Trends 2030.  It’s a fairly long and in-depth piece so I know many of you will not have a chance to read over it so I just wanted to touch on some brief high lights from it that deal specifically with America.

 “Although the United States’ (and the West’s) relative decline vis-a-vis the rising states is inevitable, its future role in the international system is much harder to project: the degree to which the US continues to dominate the international system could vary widely.”

The article as the quote above illustrates does address the reality that the US is being challenged by the rise of nations like China and so forth.  It also admits that the days of America acting by itself to impose its will on the international system is coming to an end.  I would probably argue that it is not coming to an end but rather that it has already ended.  That very brief window that allowed America to stride the global stage nearly unchallenged began with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and probably ended (at least in my estimation) with the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 has now closed.  Evidence to support this can be easily found in Syria today.  Had this situation in Syria erupted during America’s singular moment mentioned above I think it is quite realistic that the situation would have been resolved.  The Russians would have been either unable or unwilling to challenge America and prop up the regime in Syria.  Things are different now and the world is not better off for it but it is the way things are now.

” Nevertheless, with the rapid rise of other countries, the “unipolar moment” is over and Pax Americana—the era of American ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945—is fast winding down.”

http://www.scribd.com/doc/115962650/GlobalTrends-2030

American Foreign Policy 30 Years In The Making Crumbles In Middle East


 

F-16's are just one of the many advaced weapon systems that American tax payers have provided to Egypt.

F-16’s are just one of the many advanced weapon systems that American tax payers have provided to Egypt.

 

Egypt, what can you say about it as you watch what is happening over there?  As we all watch Morsi grab for more power acting very much like the dictator he replaced, with talk of bringing Sharia Law to Egypt, the obvious conclusion here is that everything the US has tried to build on since the Camp David Accords is literally crumbling before our eyes.  The peace that the Carter administration (one of the few positives for them) brokered between Egypt and Israel, literally bought and paid for with your tax dollars to the tune of roughly about $2 billion a year for a little over 30 years looks to be in serious jeopardy.

Worse still comes the realization that much of that $2 billion every year has been spent arming Egypt with advanced US weaponry.  From Apache attack helicopters to M-1 tanks Egypt is now armed with some of the best weapons your tax dollars could buy.  So if this disaster in the making in Egypt maintains present course and leads to an Egypt less free, at odds with Israel, and armed with some of the best US weapons in the American arsenal can any sane individual not think of this as the total collapse of American foreign policy in the mid east?

Muslim
Brotherhood inherits U.S. war gear

http://bittsandbytes.net/MARCH2010/MARCH_28.html