Monday, April 18, 2011

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Greetings, faithless readers!  And to answer your question, I don't rightly know.  Life's been a strange, cruel, cunt lately.  I spent weeks not sleeping, the IRS sent me a bill from three years ago, my marriage was rekindled and subsequently burned back down to its ashes again for the millionth time... A lot of shit's happened and I'm one busy motherfucker.

This would be a lot easier to read if there were one particular topic, but unfortunately there isn't.  I suppose the proper thing to do would be to boldface each subject and write underneath it.  Yeah, that'll work.

Where do I stand on Libya?  Firstly, I think Gaddafi has to go.  Like now.  Yet another example of U.S. back/sponsored tyranny, terrorism, and genocide, the good Colonel needs to be put down like a sick animal. The irony in all of this is that our government, the same government who was playing nice with him for the last 40 years, is all about wasting more money that we don't have to go help the rebels in Libya.  Under normal circumstances I would support this, but these aren't normal circumstances and HOLY FUCKING SHIT, THE U.N. IS ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING!

Now whether or not the U.N. actually sticks this one out is a mystery.  We all remember them dropping the ball in Rwanda and other places.  Too often it seems that we "civilized" Westerners are only in it to get our folks out and then leave the locals to slaughter each other.  Speaking of Rwanda, where is the support for Darfur?  Sudan?  Congo?  Any other war-torn clusterfuck of a nation?  Oh, that's right - Libya has oil.

This endless hypocrisy here in America has made me almost numb.  I hear reports of women and children being hit with coalition strikes in Libya and it's the same as hearing that the Lakers made the playoffs.  The Lakers have always and will always make the playoffs, and America has always and will always fuck up and bomb innocent people.  It shouldn't be like this, and I wonder if it will ever change.  I'm not holding my breath.  And don't even get me started on our Predator strikes on Pakistan that the White House and Pentagon magically know nothing about...

So now we get to the Constitutionality of the President's actions in Libya - Well, there is none.  Same as there was and is none in Iraq, Afghanistan, and *allegedly* Pakistan.  I totally understand that we are a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, but America comes first.  And let's face it - we're fucking broke.  Our military is stretched out thinner than Calista Flockhart on a diet, and we're fucking broke.  Not to mention that our "smart" bombs end up taking out more civilians than militants.  It's a waste of money, resources, and personnel, and Congress didn't authorize it.  We don't answer to the U.N., we answer to the Constitution and the military is under the control of Congress.  Any military action that the U.N. Security Council approves must be run by our own Congress first.  That's how the government is supposed to work.

Although, for those of you who don't know, the President can utilize the military as he sees fit, so long as there is an IMMINENT threat to the United States.  That's how we got bullshitted into invading Iraq.  Unlike President Obama, Governor Bush utilized the great propaganda machine and fed us lies about Iraq threatening our "freedom", thus furthering our imperialistic shenanigans in the Middle East.  And that, my friends, is why I think that the Republicans aren't onboard with this.  They should  be, but they aren't.

Based on their track record as a party, the right wing should be eating this up like it's the last bowl of cereal in Seinfeld's apartment.  There are two reasons they aren't: 1) There's a Democrat in office. 2) There is no fear-based motivator to sell the people on.  If there's one thing they know, it's that our population is full of greedy, selfish assholes who could give a fuck less about the wellbeing of the third world countries.  Altruism is not our strong suit.

Why is the left-leaning sector of America not supportive of this?  I stated most of the reasons earlier, but I'll repeat the important ones.  War blows.  Plain and simple.  That, and we're tired of de-funding and cutting social programs to pay for the deaths of innocent people.  I know that the guys we're attacking aren't so innocent, but 90% of the casualties in this ever-expanding War on Terror are civilians.  That is just flat out unacceptable.

So where do I stand on Libya?  I'm all about some secular democracy in the Middle East and Africa, but whenever we get involved something goes horribly wrong.  If the people suffering under ruthless dictators want to rise up and take the power back, let them do it.  If they need assistance, let the U.N. handle it.  America is not the only country with the resources and manpower (like we even have those anymore) to assist these nations.  Besides, our plate is currently full and can't afford to pick up the check when we're done eating.

The Budget
First, let me start by asking this:  Wasn't the FY11 budget voted on and passed by the last Congress?  Isn't that how it's supposed to work?  Aren't all funds appropriated prior to the start of the fiscal year?  That's what I thought.  Was I just not paying attention when I took Government and Economics in high school, or was I so high that I misunderstood the way our government is actually supposed to work?  Because I'm pretty sure that each fiscal year's budget is supposed to be dealt with and passed before the fiscal year actually starts.

But, since that's apparently NOT how it works, let's talk about the political games that are being played in Washington.  These games, which, by the way, are adversely affecting the lives of poor people across the country.  AND, since the GOP's brilliant tax spending plans effectively destroyed the middle class, that's all we really have left here in America - the rich and the poor.

-Economic Interlude-

Being the Libertarian Socialist that I am, I'm all about being fiscally conservative.  There's a difference between actually being fiscally conservative and just being a Republican who claims to be fiscally conservative.  For one, I think that the government should break even at the end of every year.  It's not a corporation, so there's no need for a profit.  If there's a debt, that means we're in someone's pocket and that's exactly where we don't need to be.  When that someone *COUGH* China *COUGH* wants their money back and we don't have it, our collective kneecaps will be broken.  Lastly, cutting social programs to fund wars is completely unacceptable.

But how do we get to zero?  That's the 14 trillion dollar question, isn't it?   There are tons of solutions, but I don't think I'm alone in how I would fix things.


1) Tax the rich.  They're not going to starve, and they're definitely not paying their fair share.  To effectively tax rich people and corporations, loopholes need to be eliminated, and refunds for corporations should be completely out of the question.  This also includes reversing the Citizens United clusterfuck that snuck through the Supreme Court last year so that the crooks in Washington aren't owned and operated by corporate America.  Bottom line: Trickle Down Economics doesn't fucking work.

2) Immediately cease all operations in the Middle East and close our bases in Japan, Europe, and Korea.  After doing that, decrease the DoD's budget by half.  Cutting military spending in half would still leave us spending five times more than China does annually.

3) All government spending should be "pay as you go".  If there's a surplus, or unused funds at the end of the year, INVEST IT.  Invest in education.  Invest in healthcare.  Invest in infrastructure.  Invest in public works projects.  Invest in NASA.  Invest in science.

4) Rinse and repeat.

-End Interlude-

So we had the almost-government shutdown.  That was fun.  I don't know about you people, but as a Federal employee, I was shitting bricks there for a minute.  And what was it all over?  Fucking Planned Parenthood and other minuscule things that have almost ZERO impact on the budget.  It was all a game, folks.  Nothing more.

My negative ass thinks that it was a two party fraud in trying to force a shutdown (GOP more than the Donkeys) and then blame the other party for causing our troops to go without a paycheck.  Whoever won the blame game would then get the super duper pat on the back from the voters next year while they campaigned saying, "Remember when the other side fucked over our military?"  The shenanigans that would follow would be insane, as the patriotic nationalist bullshit spark would ignite in all of the lemmings who registered to vote and there you have it - victory for the ultimate con artists.  Don't put this out of your head because I fully expect it to happen at some point.  Which brings me to the end of this post and, consequently, back to my original questions -  Wasn't the FY11 budget voted on and passed by the last Congress?  Isn't that how it's supposed to work?  Aren't all funds appropriated prior to the start of the fiscal year?

Adios, compadres.  Adios.