Choosing war is a knee jerk reaction to a foreign problem. In
Afghanistan, after fruitless war, the British decided to simply pay
off the tribal leaders to keep the Russians out so the battered
British troops could go home. The British finally understood the
nature of that country: mostly illiterates who know little more than
fighting among themselves and against all foreign invaders.
Now, we have been sacrificing blood and treasure in Afghanistan for
nine years with no definition of victory.
Bribery is a way of life there. Instead of fighting, we should have
simply paid off the Afghans in exchange for their keeping al Qaeda out
of the country.
It is not cost effective to wage war in Afghanistan. Consider these
simple numbers: each troop (soldier, airman, marine) we put in
Afghanistan costs us $1 million a year. A thousand troops cost us $1
billion a year and that doesnt dent the opium trade. But the value of
the Afghan opium crop is only $100 million. We should do the old A&P
thing: buy up the entire crop of opium and destroy it. Dealing
directly with the farmers will corner the market and put the smugglers
and middlemen out of business.
The opium trade may be immoral, but so are tobacco subsidies for
American farmers. More Americans die every year from tobacco than from
Once trained, what is to prevent the Afghan police and army from
joining the Taliban and turning against the American foreign invaders?
Are we nuts, stupid, or what?
Harley Sachs Houghton, U.P.
The party of Scrooge
Republicans filibustered unemployment benefits five times in the past
year while families suffered unimaginable hardships. They refused to
extend unemployment benefits next year without budget busting tax cuts
for the rich. Republican statements on the unemployed:
The Tea Party didnt like the tax cut deal because of all that
-- Matt Kibbe/ Freedom Works
Unemployment is a necessary evil.
-- Senator John Kyle
It would be sheer stupidity to extend unemployment. -- Napolitano/ Fox News
Is the government creating hobos?
-- Dean Heller/ PA
Expanding benefits will mean more people holding off on finding a
job -- Pat Buchannan
Delaying unemployment would compel those lay-a-bouts to get off the sofa.
-- Charles Payne/ Fox News
We should not be giving cash to people who basically are going to go
out and blow it on drugs and not take care of their children. --
Senator Orin Hatch
You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and
getting one of those jobs that is an honest job but it doesnt pay as
much. Weve put so much entitlement into our government that we really
have spoiled our citizenry.
-- Sharon Angle
Some of these people, I bet youd be ashamed to call them Americans
-- Glen Beck
Unemployment extensions? Dont make me choke on my own bile -- Rush Limbaugh
My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a
small child to quit feeding the animals. Because they breed. Youre
facilitating a problem if you give an animal or a person ample food
supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that dont think too much
further than that. And so youve got to curtail that type of
behavior. They dont know any better. -- Lt. Governor Andre Bauer
If theyd rather die, then they better do it and decrease the surplus
-- Ebenezer Scrooge
Julie A Racine Marion
The price of freedom
This fall, Harvard grad student Vanessa Williamson launched the
project, I Heart Taxes, a nonprofit website for the patriotic
At ihearttaxes.org you can find a long list of the benefits we get in
turn for paying taxes: paved and plowed roads, schools, public
libraries, clean water, cancer research, and your local fire
department. You can also find items with the following slogans:
Taxes Fight Fires, Taxes Put a Man on the Moon, and Dont Mess
with Taxes. You can also watch a patriotic Donald Duck cartoon from
WWII (Pay your taxes to defeat the Axis!).
Williamson contends that If we dont change how people talk about
taxes, we are never going to win these fights. IHT is a voice for
people who are proud to pay for the things we do together, as a
country. As a gift to the people of the United States, all proceeds
go to support the U.S. Treasury.
Rebecca Peterson Elk Rapids
WikiLeaks and ‘Sicko‘
I find Michael Moores self-righteous indignation amusing (re: Leaks
Dont Kill People, Secrets Do, 12/20). Considering his palpable
disgust for liars and their lies and his mistrust of all forms of
government I wonder if Mr. Moore has any sense of shame. Per Frank
Warner (A Liberal for Liberation) who writes on 12/18/10 in part:
When Michael Moores pro-dictator film Sicko was shown to Cuban
doctors in 2007, some became so disturbed at the blatant
misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room,
according to a U.S. diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks.
So the Cuban Communist Party banned the film from most Cubans, the
WikiLeaks memo reports. The memo was sent a few months before the
egomaniacal Fidel Castro overruled his lackeys and had the film shown
to let his slave population know how much the world -- or at least
Michael Moore -- loves him.
Moores movie pretended to show that Castros universal health care
for Cubans was doing wonders for that nation, when in fact it is a
medical system with lots of doctors, but with low-quality care, little
medical equipment and almost no medicine.
Yet not so amusing, but rather curious, is Mr. Moores silence
regarding President Obamas government that he so breathlessly
embraced not long ago, which took its first steps in controlling
internet traffic. Per the Wall Street Journal, 12/22/10:
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 to back
Chairman Julius Genachowskis plan for what is commonly known as net
neutrality, or rules prohibiting Internet providers from interfering
with legal web traffic. President Barack Obama said the FCCs action
will help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet.
Right. Free and open nature of the Internet in each of Obamas 57
states too, I presume.
James Cryderman via email
Martial law and Rex 84
Stephen Tuttle is a voice I never expected to come across in Northern
Michigan. His logic is reminiscent of Noam Chomsky; it makes me feel a
little more sane to know that there are people who are possessed by
searching for the truth of sensationalized subjects.
Speaking of, I wonder if Mr. Tuttle could be convinced to do a column
on Rex 84, which is a program George Bush Jr. set into motion back in
the days before WikiLeaks.
Rex 84 (short for Readiness Exercise 1984) amounts to an undisclosed
number of internment camps around the country (many of them
underground) made specifically for the sequestering of the American
people, should they physically show their disapproval of our absurd
Questions that come to my mind are, whos working for who here? and
just why was Bush Jr. so prepared to deal with an upset populace? I
believe its extremely important that Rex 84 should be made known.
People who complain about the TSA regulations have no idea about how
many rights they stand to lose, because when and if Rex 84 is ever
initiated, the Constitution will become suspended under martial law.
Every citizen in the country should know this.
Mike Curiel via email