Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Week Of Climate Change, War & Health

Good Morning,


Seems my posting on Health Care has generated a few comments. Very Cool. Some more food for thought:

Easy to find in the news - It costs a million dollars a year to keep a US soldier in Afganistan and Iraq. (around 2,800.00 a day or about the cost of 15 nurses or 20 teachers a year) We have tens of thousands of troops there now. No need to be exact in the math. Hmmm....

Some say that health care is a racket. I am sure that part of it is. Profit on pain and misery by corporations is just damn evil. Pure and Simple. But consider, the cost of cooperation vs. warfare. Ah, now, war! That is a profit maker! Just think what we could do with all that money......

Am I alone in that thought? In addition to how President Eisenhower felt about it let us thoughtfully consider this opinion:

War Is A Racket

This is piece was written way back in 1933, but is still just as relevant. It is an excerpt from a speech by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. Smedley Butler is one of only 19 people in the entire history of the US military to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor twice. The Medal of Honor is the highest award given by the US military.

War is just a racket.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 19091912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Ok, enough for now, and back to my semi-daily ramblings....

It has been a busy week! Today I am taking the trusty old Mazda P-up to DEQ to be tested, and, if all goes well, off to DMV for tags. Here in Oregon this process takes place every two years. Most states it happens yearly. So, is this a good or a bad thing? Oregon has long been known for its environmental laws and mindset on one hand, and its fierce personal independence on the other. Hand in hand or small insanity? I struggle with the knowledge that when I drive from place to place I am also converting 8 pounds of gasoline into atmospheric toxic fumes. Wish there was an affordable alternative but that is part of living in the country if you need to get around. And most of us do.

Have you noticed how the weather is changing? What some call Global Warming really is Climate Change. What is the big reaction to too much rain at once, to much cold at once? In the southern hemisphere the weather is getting wacked bad also - record change all over the place. (Check out what just happened in Perth Australia).



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