The Endless Waltz - War, Peace, Revolution

xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
I once heard that history has 3 primary drumbeats, the endless waltz of War, Peace, and Revolution. Watching the news these days, I'm also reminded of an old Jewish curse, "May you live in interesting times" - these are indeed interesting times, and it seems revolution is everywhere

Consider: For the first time since the 1980's and the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the American public is in the mood to deregulate, cut taxes, cut spending, and cut Gov't in general - what a reversal from just a few years ago! From Obama telling Joe the Plumber that he wants to spread the wealth around, to the Tea Party, it's been a revolution in politics. There's talk of scrapping our progressive tax code and moving to something resembling a flat tax; the Republicans are divided, but only about how much to cut - any old guard who tries to spend or vote for more stimulus/investment will be tarred and feathererd. The Democrats have just lost half their blue dogs, and are increasingly dominated by the left wing of their party, while the Republicans are being dominated by fiscal conservatives; even Obama is trying to recast himself as fiscally prudent, in order to get re-elected.

Looking across the pond, David Cameron in the U.K. just gave a speech that totally rebutted multiculturalism, the belief that all cultures are equal and no culture should tell another what to do, even in the same country (of course this has led to isolated communities of immigrants, thereby thwarting assimilation, and aiding home-grown terrorists - I encourage you to read the speech if you haven't, it's a very good argument IMO). Germany's Chencellor Merkel, the leader of Europe's engine, recently said the same.

In other parts of Europe, "Austerity" is the buzzword of the day - gov'ts are doing everything they can to cut their budgets, and there's talk of reforming the Eurozone to mandate that all participating countries not exceed a certain debt limit. From America to Europe, fiscal discipline is the dominant mood.

In the Middle East, we have Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt erupting in protests - Egypt's dictator/pharoah, Mubarak, just got tossed out (which reminds me of an old saying - in times of revolution, the only thing the poor change is the name of their masters). Jordan, Syria, and others are taking steps to get ahead of protests and institute reforms in the hope of cutting off any protesters. Iran, that bastion of theocratic dictatorship, has seen it's people rise up and has brutally cleansed it's own elite ranks of dissenters; there's resentment and anger in the streets, and the only thing keeping it in check is the Revolutionary Guards' guns.

It's hard to make sense of everything going on, but it's amazing that all these things, these revolutions, are all occurring at roughly the same time, all over the world. From the West to the East, the times are a changing'.

Comments

  • Yeah interesting times indeed. Seems like the US is going form 2 major parties to 3 or 4. Not a bad thing.

    Looking through history I don't really seem much changing. Sure we have got faster with information and ways to kill someone, but really people are the same today as 2000 years ago.

    most want to make a living doing something they don't hate, provide for their families, enjoy life a little. Others want it all. a few want to give it all. Don't think this is really going change humans are humans. It's just all the stuff floating around with us that changes.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,773 ✭✭✭
    xmacro:
    he Republicans are divided, but only about how much to cut - any old guard who tries to spend or vote for more stimulus/investment will be tarred and feathererd. The Democrats have just lost half their blue dogs, and are increasingly dominated by the left wing of their party, while the Republicans are being dominated by fiscal conservatives; even Obama is trying to recast himself as fiscally prudent, in order to get re-elected
    Biased? No issue there, not trying to start anything. Time changes all, yet all remains the same I think is kinda my sentiment to this. Another ally we backed, who ended up being worse than we thought-----but OK for us. Keep our nose out of most foreign relations I feel should be learned from this and many lessons we spend tax money on. Lets not forget that the lib vs conserv....repub vs dem....spending debate-----NEITHER side wants to talk about SS, medicare, and defense spending, which dwarf about everything else we spend any money on.-------Ok Ive gotten off track here, pardon my ramblings.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Vulchor:
    Biased? No issue there, not trying to start anything. Time changes all, yet all remains the same I think is kinda my sentiment to this.
    Not really trying to start anything either - but it's a fact that the blue dogs, the moderate wing of the Dem party, just lost half their members in the last election, and that the only Dems who hung on were ones from deep blue States. I realize the Repub party has been moving right on fiscal issues (they've been as mum as they can on social issues so far, trying to stay away from anything that might send independents running), but either way, the dems lost big last election and polls say they're set to lose big again.
    Vulchor:
    Lets not forget that the lib vs conserv....repub vs dem....spending debate-----NEITHER side wants to talk about SS, medicare, and defense spending, which dwarf about everything else we spend any money on.
    True, but I think we're getting to a point where those can't be ignored. I think right now it's a game of brinksmanship - both parties know that the Big Four are where the money is, but both are waiting for the other party to go first so they can demagogue the issue and accuse the other side of wanting to kill grandma. It may not be the best situation, but at least both parties realize that voters are hungry for cuts; it's just a question of who's gonna jump in the pool first.

    EDIT - I don't agree with cutting foreign aid; I think it gives us a lot of sway in places we otherwise wouldn't have much any influence; that said, your position isn't unusual - I've heard plenty of people on both the right and the left express similar sentiments and I understand the desire not to fund these dictatorships or meddle in areas of the world we have no business in.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,773 ✭✭✭
    I also understand the point about having some sway in areas we want it or need it. Tough decision on that one. Well, a pleasant talk and point of agreement and agreement to disagree in a political thead here. Cheers Macro!
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    I have been watching with interest. It seems the unrest is spreading all the time in that part of the world. i am not sure any pol in this country has the stomach to do what is required to straighten out this mess. They are all just sitting around hoping the economy comes roaring back and revenue comes back up so they can keep spending our money without restraint. I think I heard that my state (Florida) spends a third of it's annual budget on medicare/medicaid. That is astounding to me and an unsustainable situation. Entitlements are eating us alive.
  • DiamondogDiamondog Posts: 4,169
    Do these go in order? If so who's going to war next?
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Diamondog:
    Do these go in order? If so who's going to war next?
    Judging by the looks of things, it'll be Iran; whether its another country or their own population . . . well, time will tell. When a regime bans Valentines Day cards, rock music, and Western foods (eg - pasta) as "unislamic", it can't be long for this world.

  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,773 ✭✭✭
    Entitlements I dont disagree-----I wanna see medicare cut as well, and something to effect current and near retirees....not just people of my generatio0n getting screwed in the future.

    But I also wanna see defense cuts, no one wants to say that...and it is the largest monkey in the room.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    Vulchor:
    Entitlements I dont disagree-----I wanna see medicare cut as well, and something to effect current and near retirees....not just people of my generatio0n getting screwed in the future.

    But I also wanna see defense cuts, no one wants to say that...and it is the largest monkey in the room.
    I'll say it all day long. There needs to be defense cuts!!! lol I've always said there is a ton of money wasted on projects that will NEVER see regular duty. Just the R&D budget of the military alone is absurd.

    And we need cuts everywhere else too...

    I almost sh*t myself the other day when I heard Hillary Clinton say we need to be ready to pledge "financial support" for Egypt going forward... Really? We don't have the money to take care of our own country, why the hell is Egypt our responsibility? This is a prime case where we need to mind our own business.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    PuroFreak:
    Vulchor:
    Entitlements I dont disagree-----I wanna see medicare cut as well, and something to effect current and near retirees....not just people of my generatio0n getting screwed in the future.

    But I also wanna see defense cuts, no one wants to say that...and it is the largest monkey in the room.
    I'll say it all day long. There needs to be defense cuts!!! lol I've always said there is a ton of money wasted on projects that will NEVER see regular duty. Just the R&D budget of the military alone is absurd.

    And we need cuts everywhere else too...

    I almost sh*t myself the other day when I heard Hillary Clinton say we need to be ready to pledge "financial support" for Egypt going forward... Really? We don't have the money to take care of our own country, why the hell is Egypt our responsibility? This is a prime case where we need to mind our own business.

    Agree 100% Puro ...
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,773 ✭✭✭
    PuroFreak:
    Vulchor:
    Entitlements I dont disagree-----I wanna see medicare cut as well, and something to effect current and near retirees....not just people of my generatio0n getting screwed in the future.

    But I also wanna see defense cuts, no one wants to say that...and it is the largest monkey in the room.
    I'll say it all day long. There needs to be defense cuts!!! lol I've always said there is a ton of money wasted on projects that will NEVER see regular duty. Just the R&D budget of the military alone is absurd.

    And we need cuts everywhere else too...

    I almost sh*t myself the other day when I heard Hillary Clinton say we need to be ready to pledge "financial support" for Egypt going forward... Really? We don't have the money to take care of our own country, why the hell is Egypt our responsibility? This is a prime case where we need to mind our own business.
    I will only say, for the sake of fact----that foreign spending is a very small part of our budget and could barely touch any of the debt we have. HOWEVER, I agree with you Puro and have been a pretty much isolationist since I first voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000. But the right has gone wrong since then in my opinion, the left has lost their mind, and the "middle of the road" voters are forgotten about.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Vulchor:
    PuroFreak:
    Vulchor:
    Entitlements I dont disagree-----I wanna see medicare cut as well, and something to effect current and near retirees....not just people of my generatio0n getting screwed in the future.

    But I also wanna see defense cuts, no one wants to say that...and it is the largest monkey in the room.
    I'll say it all day long. There needs to be defense cuts!!! lol I've always said there is a ton of money wasted on projects that will NEVER see regular duty. Just the R&D budget of the military alone is absurd.

    And we need cuts everywhere else too...

    I almost sh*t myself the other day when I heard Hillary Clinton say we need to be ready to pledge "financial support" for Egypt going forward... Really? We don't have the money to take care of our own country, why the hell is Egypt our responsibility? This is a prime case where we need to mind our own business.
    I will only say, for the sake of fact----that foreign spending is a very small part of our budget and could barely touch any of the debt we have. HOWEVER, I agree with you Puro and have been a pretty much isolationist since I first voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000. But the right has gone wrong since then in my opinion, the left has lost their mind, and the "middle of the road" voters are forgotten about.
    Amen!
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • DSWarmackDSWarmack Posts: 1,426
    Amos Umwhat:
    Vulchor:
    PuroFreak:
    Vulchor:
    Entitlements I dont disagree-----I wanna see medicare cut as well, and something to effect current and near retirees....not just people of my generatio0n getting screwed in the future.

    But I also wanna see defense cuts, no one wants to say that...and it is the largest monkey in the room.
    I'll say it all day long. There needs to be defense cuts!!! lol I've always said there is a ton of money wasted on projects that will NEVER see regular duty. Just the R&D budget of the military alone is absurd.

    And we need cuts everywhere else too...

    I almost sh*t myself the other day when I heard Hillary Clinton say we need to be ready to pledge "financial support" for Egypt going forward... Really? We don't have the money to take care of our own country, why the hell is Egypt our responsibility? This is a prime case where we need to mind our own business.
    I will only say, for the sake of fact----that foreign spending is a very small part of our budget and could barely touch any of the debt we have. HOWEVER, I agree with you Puro and have been a pretty much isolationist since I first voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000. But the right has gone wrong since then in my opinion, the left has lost their mind, and the "middle of the road" voters are forgotten about.
    Amen!


    Wait a minute. Let's clear this up a little bit. We are talking about cutting bogus projects and not just 'military' spending right. I don't thinl I can miss the birth of another child on this salary. On my first deployment I missed 15 months of my life. On this one it looks as though it will be the same, with the exception that my twins were born while I was here and because of the complications (and fear of pulling out a stillborn child) I couldn't even be there for my wife via skype, which is the only I get to see any of my 5 kids or my wife for the next 8 months. My mid tour leave was taken away because I had to go for an emergency. So on my two week vacation I spent about 3 hours in a car to see my kids for two hours a day and went home to watch my wife cry herself to sleep. Doing that on this salary is rediculous. Doing it for less is stupid. I just want to make sure that we're are talking about taking away the raises from the overflated income of the beuricrats and not the ground pounders. Because. The first thing that gets cut in 'military' spending is 90% of the time our paycheck.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    I got this awhile back, but I'll repost it now. This is email is in response to Cindy Williams (not the actress) who wrote into a newspaper saying that military pay is too high and should be cut to help pay the deficit; this is the reply she got. If you check Snopes, both emails are real, though people confuse the actress CW as the author when she wasn't. At any rate, here's the email:

    "Ms. Williams:

    I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20.. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

    I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for "Network Technicians" in the Washington , D.C. Area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum............ I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

    Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

    Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience."

    As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

    Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE's (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.

    Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.

    But, tomorrow from KABUL , I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish...On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

    And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?

    A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC


    It's always funny how so many on the Left say "let's cut the military's budget", but when someone says "hey, let's cut some of those union benefit packages, y'know, the ones that are higher than the private sector", people go wild.

  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just to clear up any potential misconceptions concerning my opinions, as expressed previously, anyone who thinks soldiers are getting paid too much has obviously never been in any military service, and has NO FREAKING IDEA of whats involved in the daily sacrifice of our men in uniform. Any time I express my feelings that we need to cut our military budget, it is directly related to the fact that we're supplying most of the money, men and women, time, effort, blood sweat and tears to keep as much of the world as we can safe and free, and I think it's about time everyone else starts pulling their weight.
    Please, do not misunderstand me, in my opinion military pay is not the problem. Military adventurism is, as well as the stupid notion that wars should be never-ending "nation-building" exercises run from Washington. If we're going to war, I want to go to WIN! Give the great generals like Stanley McChrystal whatever they tell you they need, let them win, COME HOME.
    Afghanistan, for example, is not known as "The Graveyard of Empires" for no reason. No matter how long we stay, no matter how much we accomplish, when we leave the Afghani's will raise their hands in victory and declare that they have defeated and repelled the invaders, again. Charlie Wilson had the right idea. On that note, perhaps we could have a Charlie Wilson moment in the Arab world now, and support freedom and democracy for those who have finally stood up for it. Tricky business, but wouldn't it be nice if the Arabs could be free and peaceful? Long row to hoe.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,773 ✭✭✭
    DSWar----not talking about your salary at all. Defintely talking about bogus projects and waste we spend on that are tied to various govt. leaders, ect. Never want to target frontline or soldiers, but the contract and top heavy side....including projects we spend more money than god on (lets not talk abou the engine) is what I mean.

    Not going to get into the left vs right debate as I think that has gotten nonsensical and just a way to keep the majority of people from realzing the real issues and keeping the country divided...as that way we remain angry, uniformed, and unorganized to realize the real issues and goals which is what all those in power despite political leanings really want.
  • DSWarmackDSWarmack Posts: 1,426
    xmacro:
    I got this awhile back, but I'll repost it now. This is email is in response to Cindy Williams (not the actress) who wrote into a newspaper saying that military pay is too high and should be cut to help pay the deficit; this is the reply she got. If you check Snopes, both emails are real, though people confuse the actress CW as the author when she wasn't. At any rate, here's the email:

    "Ms. Williams:

    I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20.. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

    I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for "Network Technicians" in the Washington , D.C. Area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum............ I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

    Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

    Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience."

    As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

    Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE's (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.

    Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.

    But, tomorrow from KABUL , I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish...On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

    And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?

    A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC


    It's always funny how so many on the Left say "let's cut the military's budget", but when someone says "hey, let's cut some of those union benefit packages, y'know, the ones that are higher than the private sector", people go wild.


    <( I've seen that leter before and love and completely agree with it. As for everything else, I'm not mad, not even upset. I just wanted to mak sure we were focusing on the issue of bloated government spending, and not the fact that E4s and below quallify for almost every level of Governmet bennifits (ie. Wellfare, wic...). I am reading these posts, most of the time, from a handheld device (personal) that I use to stay in contact with my wife at all times. I have premie twins at the house along with 3 older children, and staying in touch with my family is important to me. The over budjeting for projects is, IMHO, a huge problem and needs to be addressed. However I run into the issue from my end, when am I to say that a project won't save the lives of hundreds of soldiers. Or for that matter one? Where exactly do we draw the line of a cost benifit annalysis when it involves the life of a soldier? What if that soldier was one of your children and you later found out that there was a program developing a tool or technology that would have helped them in their specific instance? How would you feel then? I also think that paying 400 dollars for a toilet seat or hammer is rediculous as well.
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