Saturday, December 25, 2010

Crumbs for Thought

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA

A few quotes, all which have wisdom that if applied to present thinking and the behaviors of our current leadership may have significant beneficial consequences for our aging nation.
"My ardent desire is, and my aim has been ... to comply strictly with all our
engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political
connections with every other country. To see that they may be independent of all,
and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the
powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in
my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home." --George
Washington, letter to Partick Henry, 1775

"There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from
Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride
ought to discard." --George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

"We are firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations as with
individuals our interests soundly calculated will ever be found inseparable from our
moral duties, and history bears witness to the fact that a just nation is trusted on
its word when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others." --Thomas
Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

9 comments:

  1. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!! (I've been online-screaming it this year...) ;)

    Great quotes! Are you really, like me, a person who believes we need to end the military empire?

    If you are, then wow man, that would be a great Christmas gift - a newfound faith in my fellow man!

    JMJ

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  2. I don't know about "military empires" but I think we need to accept that we cannot solve all the world's ills. If we leave Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Russia will be the losers, not us. It's their back yard. I don't see that as a bad thing.

    Having said that, we will still need to spend money on national defense. Minding our own business will not necessarily yield a monetary peace dividend.

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  3. I echo Silverfiddle JMJ. I believe in a STRONG national DEFENSE.

    In my limited capacity here's how I see it... The only justification for war is in response to an unprovoked act of aggression against a sovereign nation and its people. Period.

    Having said that I am not so naive as to believe that many leaders the wold over would agree with me given their actions. Therefore I believe we shall always have the need for a strong national DEFENSE. If we falter in maintaining the strongest DEFENSE amongst nations we will eventually fall prey to less enlightened people and their nations leaders.

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  4. Merry Christmas Les, and we all need to keep our eye on defense in the New Year. The Libs think we can apologize our way out of danger.

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  5. What I'm asking is do you guys believe we need a 2 million man standing force in over 140 countries, bases in Japan and Germany still to this day some 65 years after the end of WWII, and all that?

    We have nuclear submarines, and carrier groups, all over the world's seas. We have a huge nuclear arsenal. We have a small but extermely effective Marine force that can land anywhere on short-notice and wreck total havoc on the enemy. We have the capacity to strike anywhere on the planet in a matter of minutes.

    I have no problem with having a strong national defense, but one can take that way too far. Why do we have this massive, 2 million man, spread all over the plaent, 26% of all federal government spending, more spent than the rest of the wortld COMBINED, military empire???

    It strikes me as stupid, paranoid, cannibalistic, and completely ignorant of history. Do you guys agree?

    I mean, imagine you live in a house ina mixed neighborhood. There is a slice of pretty much every demographic within a mile or so of your home. So yes, you have some violent crime in the area, that could effect you and yours, but most of your neighbors are either friends or relatively indifferent and benign. You have the fanciest house in the area, so you do have to have security and all that. Now, imagine if you spent TWENTY-SIX PERCENT of your annual income not on food, not on school for the kids, not on utilities and transportation, not on your family's healthcare, not on your monthly bills and credit - no, imagine if you spent TWENTY SIX PERCENT of your annual income on guns, ammunition, security systems, training your children in martial arts, and mine-fielding your yard? Imagine if you also financed other neighbors martial wants, even though they could easily afford it for themselves? Then imagine that you preemptively attacked neighbors because they "threatened" you, regardless of the fact that the threats are obvisouly empty?

    Your neighbors would think your a dangerous, paranoid screwball. That is what America is today with its massive military empire - a dangerous, paranoid screwball.

    JMJ

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  6. I kinda agree, Jersey, but you've got your facts wrong.

    What is actually happening is we are providing a lot of military support to countries who greatly benefit by us being stationed there, doing the dirty work for them, and also patrolling sea lanes key to international commerce.

    The countries love mooching off of us, and they criticize us publicly.

    That is the problem I have. Time for these freeloaders to pick up their own damned slack, first and foremost the corrupt Muslim potentates.

    Who cares if the corrupt, terrorist-funding Saudi regime is toppled by the terrorists they've been funding? They've still got to sell the oil on the open marketplace.

    We have become the guy everybody in the neighborhood relies on. They hate us, but they're dependent on us.

    We built and maintained post-WWII global stability, but the system is now fraying. Time for big daddy US to take the training wheels off the children's bicycles.

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  7. "Time for big daddy US to take the training wheels off the children's bicycles."

    Silverfiddle - I completely agree with your statement above. It should have been done long ago, but that's water under the bridge.

    Cut the support you cut the defense budget, it's as simple as that. And then perhaps we can cut domestic spending along lines that actually make sense.

    But who in America holding the reins of power is listening to Ron Paul, or reading his book for that matter?

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  8. JMJ - Is it possible you read Ron Paul's book?

    The military industrial complex President D.D. Eisenhower spoke of in his 1961 farewell speech to the nation has continued to grow since.

    Eisenhower, as you know was both the Commander in Chief of Allied forces during WW II and later our President. He certainly saw the horrors of war, and the benefits and or dangers of a growing military industrial establishment from both the military defense posture and that of a politician and leader of our nation.

    My point is we must maintain a strong defense, the world remains a dangerous theater and on its stage are many thugs, and those hungry for power, including but not limited to Muslim extremists and those who support them.

    Do I think we need bases in 140 countries and cough up the money to support all of this? The answer is no. What we need a rational defense policy that supports our national security interests as well as recognizing we do need to maintain alliances with countries that ACTUALLY share our values and interests. That number seems to be growing less and less and Silverfiddle is right, time to kick the training wheels (US monetary and military support)out from under them.

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