Sunday, December 28, 2008

Save the Past, Imperil the Future

Nature abhors a vacuum: An old axiom, but apropos to the current financial crisis, and the hand-wringing that has become the national response. the question du jour - "do we bail out the auto companies?" Most normal people say, "No." The rest - most of those who speak for the normal people (i.e. Congress) - say, "Yes, we have no choice. If the auto companies fail, 2.5 million jobs nationwide will follow." Sounds like the same old fear-mongers to me; like those who tried to scare America into invading Iraq. Now they seek to make us fear the natural cycle of change.

America's car companies have been badly mismanaged and are in need of restructuring. This restructuring need not be base upon senators and representatives dictating to companies who stay and who go, but rather on a tried and true system - Chapter 11, a basic tool of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 automatically governs corporate reorganization. Here, there is no need for fat-cats on Capitol Hill playing god - deciding who sinks and who swims. (How amazingly pretentious, and transparent they are, like children playing a board game.)

Besides, the U.S. doesn't need a Big Three. Perhaps it is time for a Big Two...or a Big One, along with three or four new companies competing to produce cars designed for the future. What's wrong with that?

Let the vacuum happen naturally, and just as naturally, let true entrepreneurs fill that vacuum. There is money enough and smarts enough in this great country to fill any vacuum. So what if current suppliers go under? New suppliers will rise up, just as new automakers will rise up to replace the old.

Would we save the dinosaurs at the risk of imperiling the evolution of mammals? Likewise, are we to save GM at the risk of imperiling the development of truly 21st century machines?

This country does not owe the Big Three; neither does it owe current autoworkers. We are all employees, and are all subject to the same laws of change.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dumbing Down Two Raggedy Wars

Bush's war on terror has been a disaster. We lost 3,000 Americans on 911. In the ensuing War of Retaliation, we lost another 5,000 Americans, and have brought on the death of over 100,000 Iraqis and Afghans, most of whom were innocent civilians. Still, Al Quaeda exists in places it never did before the war - most notably Iraq - and they continue to carry out attacks on targets worldwide.

Some point to no further attacks on American soil as a sign of success. No, that is merely a sign of due diligence. If Bush had applied due diligence before 911, then 911 never would have happened. (The signs were there - the warnings were ignored).

Now, the Bush administration has signed an accord with Iraq for a withdrawal (based on a timeline) - what this administration has sneered at all along as a "date of surrender." They can call it what they will; I will simply call it "inevitable." We must leave Iraq. We must also leave Afghanistan.

President-elect Obama is suggesting that he will escalate the struggle in Afghanistan, "to get Al Quaeda." If he does, then he will show that he has bought into Bush's failed rhetoric.

We have punished Al Quaeda for 911, and we have punished the Taliban for harboring Al Quaeda. If America's leaders think now that they must "wipe them all out," then they are sadly mistaken. They just as soon wipe out the very hills and mountains of Afghanistan than to wipe out all of their young lions. The Russians tried with 150,000 troops, and then left with their tails between their legs. Obama with his 50,000 will do the same.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Madame Secretary

So, Hillary has taken the job: Secretary of State. Good for her. It is good for her. People say, "But Hillary like being a senator." They all like being senators. It looks good; it sounds good. But, next to "Secretary of State," being a senator is like being a statue in Central Park. Senators are all process and procedures, votes and counter-votes. Secretaries of State are spearheads into the flesh of history.
What does Hillary want? She wants to make history.