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August 1, 2011

While You Were Sleeping II

Steven R. Berryman

Controlling the conversation has become much more important than what the conversation itself is actually about, as in many a good negotiation tactic. I could use the word “manipulation,” but that’s trite now.


Misled from a level and depth of conversation that may contribute to real solutions for real problems in our budget/deficit debate, we argue only the fixes to symptoms.


Democrats, and the Tea Party influenced Republicans, kept this from being a valuable conversation on the eve of yet another false deadline of federal emergency. Going broke Tuesday? Really?


Deals are predicated upon a saving of either two or four trillions of dollars – imagined cuts, impossible to confirm looking forward. Remind you of “jobs saved or created?” We need only say we were planning to spend five extra trillion in 10 years, but we have backed it to three trillion dollars in our concession.


All of the compromises put onto the table have lacked detail to address underlying causes. We will simply continue to repeat, and make the minimum payment on the American credit card with a credit card. “Death of a thousand cuts and all of that.


America has a spending problem, stupid, and on a business basis, one need only look toward a risk/benefit analysis of said spending to understand the traps we have willingly walked – and been led – into.


Examples of spending problems include:


As a nation, we have built the biggest, most expensive national security fortress the world has ever seen; a castle with a moat that is made of oceans, and walls as high as spy satellites. Our spies span the globe along with a State Department, and have infiltrated other governments with the ability to control others destinies. Within our own walls of the United States, The government and enormous multi-national corporations live together in a super-constitutional life that includes both active and passive controls of our own people.


We finance a National Guard, State Police, FBI, NSA, DIA, BATF, City Police, County Police, Sheriff’s Departments, Secret Service, and alphabet organizations so secret that their names are code words spoken with a wink and a nod. And this is only internal security; protecting us from ourselves. Do a Google search for “fusion centers” to see more examples.


Indeed Liberty struggles to live within such a framework, as NSA lawyers recently argued in favor of the legality of tracking Americans with their own cell phone technology. Yes, they can track your every move without your knowledge or permission.


Civilian subcontractors of our defense industry base are able to work beneath the radar to accomplish what a uniformed service might refuse to do. Corporate giants like AT&T, Northrop Grumman, and others live a dual life – outside of their public service commercials.


We have become a paranoid nation, expensively turning against itself sometimes for partisan political gains, much to the relief of our real enemies, as we have willingly bled ourselves dry on internal surveillance within our kingdom. This has been done to the limits of imaginable science fiction, under the cloak of secrecy and “for our own good.”


We know how well congressional oversight has worked out. So forget about the checks and balances part. Simply look back to failed regulations and unheeded warnings that caused our current “Great Recession” without an end in sight.


Contracts are converted into contributions in this revolving door world.


Much larger than the above:


We have decided – in return for political considerations – that you have a Constitutional right to food, a right to housing, a right to free medical treatments, a right to higher education, and no other obligations to account for it.


Our safety-net social programs have failed. What had been a true insurance policy for the unlucky in society has become a black hole for our money; we now pay-off an enormous percent of our population, in some cases simply for being born into the wrong family, or into the wrong neighborhood in unending cycles of poverty.


Jobs have only been considered in solutions with no work required!


Cash spent on Great Society programs to fix poverty created a trap that has enabled much more poverty than when they started; black unemployment is worse even under a black president, as an example of failed promises. Poverty roles and total spending are up by any measure despite the billions sent to what had been “welfare.”


The “war on poverty” has been as effective as “the war on drugs.” And untold failed billions were spent politically in the name of these causes. We incarcerate ourselves at enormous expense, to the delight of only the Trial Lawyers Association.


Need I say more? Bigger government is not better government.


So, while you were sleeping, blinded by ethereal elements of issues, the root causes remain untouched. We own a castle that’s worth more than the kingdom. We finance a military with offensive overreach capability and airlift command that we swear we will not use “offensively.” We fund a nuclear deterrent for the 20th year now after the fall of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, while borrowing heavily from Communist China.


Just what is it that we seek to defend so vigilantly and thoroughly, and from whom?


Yellow Cab
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