Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Reminders

What they are doing at the Veteran's Administration is a travesty...a stain upon the honor of the insult to every man and woman who has fought for the United States of America, regardless of the wisdom or lack thereof, our foreign policy...The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America went where they were ordered to go, performed as best they could; often being asked to complete tasks that no 19 or 20 year old soldier from the biggest cities or the smallest towns should ever be made responsible. While it is true that our military's system of getting wounded servicemen from the field to the operating room saved tens of thousands of lives, the fact remains that the total number of KIAs do not accurately depict how the War on Terror has decimated the United States military. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, our Government spends 2.4% of our Gross Domestic Product, some $1.7 trillion dollars in 2012. In 2012, we spent more money than the next nine nations combined on maintaining the American Imperium. On this Memorial Day, I pray that we, each and individually, look accurately at what most of the Founders set forth as the political philosophy of our nation. 

Right-wing Americans highlight Thomas Jefferson, who as their standard bearer of our Government being limited in its scope, said: 

A standing army has always been used by despots to enforce their rule and to keep their people under subjection. Its existence was therefore considered a great threat to peace and stability in a republic and a danger to the rights of the nation. Since every aspect of government was designed to prevent the rise of tyranny, strict limits and control over the military were considered absolutely necessary. It was essential that the military be subordinate to civilian control

So as I say, we must view what the Founders wanted accurately. Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, two blow-horns with substandard education cannot tell you about the Founders intended. I would ask my true and dear Republican friends to recognize that it is impossible to have limited government here, while we propagate a tyrannical one abroad. William Jennings Bryan and Carl Schurz warned us of this a century ago. And yet, I remind my fellow Progressive brothers and sisters that the Veterans Administration would be a most unsuccessful entity if it performed as it has within the private sector. In other words, if by some scheme  Veteran's Benefits could be processed for a profit, the VA's performance would lead it to immediate bankruptcy. It is important for those of us in the Progressive movement to realize that Government is NOT always the answer. We have so many programs that overlap, or are highly specialized in the demographic they seek to aid, that no one is helped. We are in the middle of The Lesser Depression, made smaller than the catastrophe in 1929 based solely on the $7.7 trillion (or merely $1.5 trillion if you take Mr. Bernanke at his word) dollar loans the Federal Reserve made not only to financial institutions, but companies like Caterpillar and McDonald's.

Honoring those who have fallen on the fields of battle must compel if not the citizen, then at the very least the political philosopher who can explain, and identify the reason men have been asked fight. We are not the nation we were in 1941. The Great Generation were truly citizen soldiers who wanted to perform their duty, win the war because of the recognition of the true evil of fascism, and then go home to lead peaceful lives. In the hopes of rejecting oversimplification, the argument can be made that those who fought against, and somewhat successfully stunted our imperial ambition in 1898 were simply not alive to thwart said ambition a second time. With the Soviet collapse in 1989, our Government is controlled by individuals who are committed to maintaining the system by which democratic-republicanism is dying, and an American oligarchy has risen. Moreover, and so there is genuine moral consistency, our legitimately, twice-elected 44th President Barack Hussein Obama has done absolutely nothing of significance to leading the Government or the American People towards its original democratic-republican foundation as set by Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and the often ignored third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall. 

On Memorial Day, we must remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, that a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. As we enjoy our barbecues, your beers, and each others company, let us remind ourselves that we have a great amount of work to do. Not every Republican notion is wrong, but they are clearly the party of oligarchy; and while Democrats work to make things a little easier for the little guy, we must remember that far too often they lack the political courage to follow through when dependent upon. Again this is the great failure of President Obama: he is what Aristotle identified as the worst form of coward-that being the political one.

Here are four ideas that I expected of him in the first 100 days of his first term: (1) Tax reform that included both a flat income tax rate of 20%, making those living 4 times under the poverty rate exempt, coupled with a National Consumption Tax on every piece of toilet paper, fork, box of cereal, tank of gas, stock, bond, and whatever else that is bought and sold; (2) a Wall Street reform bill which reinstated Glass-Steagall and made the derivatives market a thing of the past. It is not that the Dodd-Frank Act is a bad piece of legislation, but in allowing these complicated financial instruments to continue to exist, there is no real incentive for firms to invest capital on Main Street; (3) the National Security State that has been implemented since the Bush administration needs to completely revamped with primacy being given to the right of privacy of American citizens. Men like Julian Assange and Private Manning are true heroes in my opinion, along with the thoughts of every American who cherishes liberty. The fact that during his Administration the NSA was caught spying not only on our adversaries, but allies to our nation is a black-eye I am happy the President of the United States had to answer for within the Press. I am a Progressive. I am a Democrat. I love my nation. I love it because I recognize that there are aspects of it which are truly exceptional, such as a nation of 300 million people, 72% of which are white, elected a man of color begotten by a Kenyan father to the highest office in the land. I also recognize that with the NSA gaining power, the Second Amendment has never been
more vital to our maintaining liberty. Critics are correct when they cite the M-4 rifle as having no sport purpose. I answer those critics by stating that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Julian Assange is an example of what can happen when a government decides to use its energy in an unjustifiable manner. I will not die on my knees, or be confined to a camp because of who and what I am; and lastly (4), I expected President Obama to do all that was necessary to strengthen unions and revisit the National Labor Relations Act, modernizing it, and if necessary making an Amendment to the Constitution that protects workers from their employers usurping their right to a decent life, while protecting employers from an inefficient, overly-paid workforce that prevents American manufacturing and exportation. We must be a nation that builds and creates. This is what will end the makers-takers dialectic of Congressmen Ryan, whom I also pray gets the courage to work with Democrats.If he can love a black woman, then can't be all bad.

May God Bless the America by showing us the way to restore our Republic.

-Preston Henry Andrew Scott (Isma'il ibn Bilal)

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