Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Go Time - Let's Go Bare Knuckles

They say President Obama's plan for fixing the economy is to spend our way out. That is not a plan; that's a "Hail Mary!"

Some say the national debt doesn't matter anyway. Of course, that is absurd. The only way debt doesn't matter is when you have no intention of paying it. In that case, your creditor will soon find you out, and the loans will stop, leaving you to subsist on your means. Try that for a while, and then tell me "Credit doesn't matter."

(Soon, our national debt will be at 17 trillion dollars. If interest rates go to 6%, we will be paying one trillion dollars a year on the interest alone.) Still think the debt doesn't matter?

The other day, an analyst said on CNN, "I wonder if we are seeing the end of this economy as we know it." Yes. Another said, "If Reagan was here..." No; "Hillary could..." No; "Mitt..." No.

Some wonder if anything can be done. Certainly. We could hang mirrors and achieve the illusion of returning to the way we were. Of course, that will not last long.

We could adjust the tax code so that more businesses and people keep more of their money. that might help individual businesses and people. But with a burgeoning population (over 300 million people), and burgeoning numbers of unemployed, homeless, and foodless people, can we so shrink government revenue and still call ourselves a "compassionate nation"?

Less is coming, folks, and we will have to settle for it - less salary, less food stamps, smaller unemployment checks. The days of America devouring 25% of the world's resources are over. We are less than 5% of the world's population. Imagine settling for 10% of its goods.

It is not as bad as it sounds. Imagine fashioning a work ethic again - where we harvest our own fields, change our own tires, and cook our own meals for our families. (Imagine closer-knit families). Instead of taking your children to Disney World, imagine taking them on nature walks. They will find those excursions infinitely more satisfying, and memorable. So will you.

It is time we got our hand dirty again, America; time to do some sweating. Let's stop the whining and go bare knuckles. We can row out of this storm.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Colonel Qadaffi's Cap

There is something childlike and endearing about these Libyan rebels - the way the shoot willy-nilly and then scurry away. And how about the NATO who, like gods atop Mt. Olympus, looks down on them, hurling lightning bolts only when it appears their minions are in trouble.

Certainly, these rebels kill, and they die. But it is not like they mean to, except they mean to be free. And being ready to fight and die...well, they must wonder, "Shouldn't that be enough?"

No doubt, this helps to account for the lack of savagery in this conflict. It is though neither side has wanted to do great damage, but only enough to make the other side go away.

It is NATO who has brought the savagery to this fight, with their air strikes and Tomahawk missiles turning city sectors into flame and rubble. At those times, the rebels seemed to lower their guns, look up in awe, and like children at a fireworks display, cry out for more.

And then it was over: Victory, crystallized in the face of a fighter who had breached Qaddafi's compound. He came out wearing one of Qaddafi's caps. It was the "the Colonel's" cap he wore, the one the world had seen on the head of the strongman, himself, many times before. Now the newly-bedecked rebel, bathed in sunlight, stands before the battered compound smiling.

Looking at him reminds me of the day my son, Thomas, who was only nine, caught such a fish - it was half as long as he. Holding it as high as he could, he looked up the hill at me and smiled. Twenty years later, that same proud, full-of-the-moment smile is worn by a rebel half a world away.

For me, that rebel is the face of that motley bunch now - he who never, ever wanted to harm a single soul - who just wanted to be free.

Bless you, young man - you and that splendid cap. Bless you all.