Closing Thought–29Dec17

What happened to America?

In the 50’s and 60’s it was booming and had a bright positive future……now fast forward to today…..we cannot say that about this country now.

Some are blaming  the Millennials, but is it truly their fault the demise of a ponce bright and prosperous country?

Everyone likes to bash millennials. We’re spoiled, entitled, and hopelessly glued to our smartphones. We demand participation trophies, can’t find jobs, and live with our parents until we’re 30. You know the punchlines by now.

But is the millennial hate justified? Have we dropped the generational baton, or was it a previous generation, the so-called baby boomers, who actually ruined everything?

That’s the argument Bruce Gibney makes in his book A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America. The boomers, according to Gibney, have committed “generational plunder,” pillaging the nation’s economy, repeatedly cutting their own taxes, financing two wars with deficits, ignoring climate change, presiding over the death of America’s manufacturing core, and leaving future generations to clean up the mess they created.

I gotta slide out of here….better things in the wind….see you guys tomorrow…..chuq

The War Of 1812

Most readers know that I have studied conflicts through history and to everyone chagrin I do enjoy giving a history lesson whenever I can…..and today is one of those times (heavy sighs and eye rolls)

Probably one of the least studied wars in US history is that of the War of 1812.  There was a lot more to that conflict than the UK wanting to even for the loss in 1781……

On the surface, it may seem that the War of 1812 was just pointless bloodshed spattered on the pages of human history. After all, according to the final Treaty of Ghent, all relations and borders were supposed to return to status quo ante bellum, or pre-war, status. Look beyond the legalism and into the practical effects of the war, however, and one will find significant attitudinal changes in the United States after the conflict, ushering in what most historians consider the “Era of Good Feelings” in the decade following the war.

The biggest American casualty of the war was the Federalist Party, the first political party that had arisen in the United States. A party of bankers and businessmen, the Federalists’ steady opposition to the war doomed them in the eyes of the American public. Their vociferous opposition to the commencement of the war, and their subsequent contemplation of outright secession at the “Hartford Convention,” angered many Americans, who viewed the Federalists as “un-patriotic.” The Federalists had principally represented men of means and wealth, with the bulk of their membership in the Northeast. With the end of the war the party all but ceased to exist, and many of its former members rallied to new party banners, namely Republican and Whig, where they formed the political base for centralization, protectionism, and, eventually, abolitionism, in the latter half of the 19th century.

It’s That Darn War On Drugs

The War on Drugs was declared in a presser by Nixon in 1971 so we have been fighting this “war” for 46 years and spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs:  about $51 billion or about a trillion dollars over the lifetime of the program.

I bring this up because of a couple of articles I read…..

As if the United States needed more evidence that its sixteen-year mission in Afghanistan is an exercise in futility, a new United Nations report provides an additional reason for depression. The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, released on November 15, confirms that Washington’s effort to curb illicit narcotics trafficking in the country has failed.

Almost every aspect of the report contains bad news. Overall opium production reached nine thousand metric tons, compared to 4,800 tons in 2016. That was a record level since the UN began keeping statistics on the product in 1994. Some 328,000 hectares were used to grow poppy (the source of opium), an increase of nearly 50 percent from the previous record set in 2014. Poppy cultivation also spread to provinces that were previously free of such cultivation. That development means that twenty-four of the country’s thirty-four provinces now are directly involved in illicit drug production. Despite a 14 percent drop in price per unit, the overall value of the crop increased by 55 percent because of the sheer overall volume. An evaluation of the UN report from the Afghan Analysis Network aptly concluded that opium is “a low-risk crop in a high-risk environment.”

The part of the program to eliminate the Afghan opium trade is a failure after all the cash spent to rid the countryside of the poppy fields….

Then there is cocaine problem coming out of Columbia…..

European police organization Europol on Friday said that a “significant increase in production in Colombia has caused intensified trafficking activity” to the European Union.

Europol made the claim in its “How Illegal Armed Drugs Sustain Organized Crime in the EU” report on regional drug trafficking activity.

Yet another failed program…the eradication of the cocaine production….farms and factories…..

WE are throwing money at these programs and are getting no positive results….time to find another way or legalize all drugs…..

What Happened To The Religious Right?

Remember the Moral Majority?

These guys put “God” back into politics.

I agree with a friend (name withheld to protect his identity) said that he stops listening when someone says they are a Christian and that attitude seems to be the sentiment of many Americans.

At one point the “Moral Majority” held all the political power…those days are waning….what happened to those “morally” perfect leaders?

Evangelicalism doesn’t have a brand problem; it has a product problem.

Ok, Evangelicals do have a brand problem—but they also have a major product problem.

Bible-believing born-again Christians, aka Evangelicals, have had a brand problem since Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority sold the Born-again movement to the Republican party in exchange for political power a generation ago, forging the Religious Right.

The Republican party has been using Christianity’s good name to cover bad deeds ever since, all the while tapping Evangelical media empires and churches as communications and organizing platforms to bring ordinary believers along with the merger. Having become true-believers themselves, Evangelical leaders have offered themselves up as trusted messengers for this New-and-Improved political gospel project.

And it has worked.

I cannot say that the movement is all but dead…..for it is still strong in the Deep South….the Alabama special election showed that when with all the allegations against Moore he still won the white vote overwhelmingly.

The rest of the nation has lost confidence in this movement but it will stay strong in the South until the older generation leaves us.