I just finished watching the President give his state of the union speech. I went to Facebook, our new digital town square, to see the general take on it. What caught my eye right away was a response to a friends update. It said, "I've been crying for two years with this do nothing president!"
It was all in caps, too.
I am tired of hearing conservatives complain that Obama isn't doing enough to lower the deficit. It's a deficit THEY created with two unfunded wars, Medicare part D and a massive tax break to the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Now that all the bills for what they bought have come due, they want the President to find away to pay for their bad choices.
This isn't opinion, this is math.
Maybe he could get something done but the Republicans won't allow anything to even be debated in Congress. This isn't some hyperbole comment either, this is an easy to confirm fact. Go Google how many times the filibuster has been used.
Here is a quick link.
The Republican plan for America is simply do nothing. No exaggeration. Their plan is to simply block, slow down and bring the business of government to a grinding halt. Then, they go on TV and cite FOX news polls that suggest Americans think the government can't get anything done and surprise, just enough people fell for this to elect them back into the majority of government to try the same ideas that got America into this mess in the first place!
Of course people think government can't get anything done. There are too many Republicans in it.
If you want to save a lot of money right away, get out of Iraq, Afghanistan and close all the military bases your tax dollars support around the planet. We are an empire. Only an empire maintains military outposts all across the globe to project its power and protect access to resources. Now days we call this "protecting our interests" but when those interests are in another country, things tend to get messy.
I don't know if you have noticed but our roads have potholes, our schools are closing, firemen are being laid off and huge cuts are being made not just to obscure social programs you think you will never need, but to basic services while taxes on the least among us are being raised.
It costs one million dollars a year to have a US soldier in Afghanistan protecting us when teachers, cops and firemen are being laid off. Does that make much sense? If this keeps up we will eventually not have to worry about terrorist attacks. Not because of our troops abroad but because there won't be anything working anymore. This is what we are protecting?
Facebook turns out to be a melting pot in real time. I got into a debate with someone I can only imagine has a giant American flag on his pick-up truck with a gun rack and a Jesus fish stuck to the bumper. I said, "Get out of Afghanistan now" and he said, "We needed to stay until there was a true victory for America."
Nine years, more than 3,000 dead service men, more poppy fields than before we went in, rampant corruption and no clear end in site; I think we should just declare victory and get out.
His point, "We can't cut and run!" If we just leave it will be seen as a solid defeat. We have to stay till the job is done.
This went on for a few hours. We traded comments with a few other people jumping in pro or con from time to time but mostly, it was just the two of us. He ended one comment with the words, "That's it. I'm done!"
No one can really have the final word on Facebook. Simply saying I'm done doesn't mean the other person now has to sit silently at their keyboard thinking "Damn! I had such a good point to make and then he went and said, I'm done! Now I can't respond."
I responded with a fact and something sarcastic and this caused him to jump back in. This time, he ended his rant with the words, "I'M OUT!"
Yup, all in caps and an exclamation mark too.
I laughed out loud. That's right, I actually LOL'ed for the first time ever at my computer. Why? He just ended his argument on Facebook with my argument for leaving Afghanistan. You can't win an argument doing the one thing you are arguing against. He just proved my point better than I could have! When you can't win, leave.
If you can't handle a debate on the Internet maybe you shouldn't be suggesting war strategies.
All of this reminds me of another debate I had on Facebook around security and the economy. In a global economy sometimes making something cheaper goes against the conservative demand for securing our borders. You want a perfect example of this conservative oxymoron?
All the United States Border Patrol uniforms are made in Mexico.
You read that last sentence correctly.
Gee, how are people from Mexico sneaking in do you suppose?
You can't demonize Mexican people for wanting to leave sweat shops and come here for better pay. The only reason America makes border patrol uniforms in Mexico is because the company we gave the contract to outsourced it there to save money. What's to stop someone from stealing one of the uniforms? How committed to security and legal immigration do conservatives look when they fight to preserve a companies right to make official US government uniforms for the branch that watches the border in the same country they blame the most for illegal immigration?
If they were true patriots those uniforms would be made in the right country.
As I finish writing this I keep checking in on a Youtube debate. I posted a short clip of my "confederate flag story."
A day later a white guy from Mississippi sent me a very long explanation on why that flag is no more racist than the American flag and anyone who sees otherwise is wrong.
As two white guys I don't think it's our place to tell African-Americans which flag is and is not offensive to them.
I would of thought it was over right there but no. Just because I'm white that means I can't have an opinion, he asked? Of course you can. You can say any stupid thing you want. This is America, damn it!
His next response is the one that made me LOL for the second time. If you talk about a controversial issue like this you have to expect the other side to respond.
WOW. This is still controversial?
I didn't realize there was another side in what is widely considered a symbol of racism to people way smarter than him or I who happen to be black, white and brown. Did you? I thought we kind of settled this argument a while back. That flag represents slavery to a whole lot of people. But, just for the sake of peace, I will no longer say it is a flag representing racism. From now on I will say the Confederate flag is the flag of the losers.