RANGER AGAINST WAR: Call off the Dogs <

Friday, February 16, 2007

Call off the Dogs

Say, A doggy is nuttin'
if he don't have a bone
--Who Let the Dogs Out, Baha Men

I am involved in mankind,
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee

Meditation 17, John Donne

Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us

is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing
--Ronald Reagan

I live in an economically depressed rural Florida county that has numerous social problems, but unlike those created by GWB in Iraq, nobody is throwing money our way.

In particular, Gadsden County suffers an infant mortality rate almost double that of the rest of Florida.

A local editorial recently stated, "It is the story of the Third World-in our backyard." Further, "economic and educational deprivation are a clear and present danger to human welfare," and "the continuing lack of universal health care has the effect of condemning many poor people to significantly less healthy lives."

"A system that guaranteed primary health-care services for all would provide more than medicine; it would better educate, thus reducing the knowledge deficit that's at the root of the tragedy and, perhaps, diminish the rate of poverty that infects America's economy as well."

On the same day, a U.N. study on child welfare was released, showing the U.S. ranked second to last among the 21 wealthiest countries surveyed (Great Britain was 21st.)

"'What (the U.S. and Britain) have in common are very high levels of inequality, very high levels of child poverty, which is also associated with inequality, and in rather different ways poorly developed services to families with children,' said [Jonathan] Bradshaw, a professor of social policy at the University of York in Britain [and one of the study's researchers.]

"'They don't invest as much in children as continental European countries do,' he said, citing the lack of day-care services in both countries and poorer health coverage and preventive care for children in the U.S."

The new federal budget has granted hundreds of billions of dollars for Department of Defense death machines, but poor babies, who offer no votes and whose parents probably are disenfranchised from the system, are largely ignored in a federal budget scheme that seems set up to protect more valuable assets. Valuable in our current system is defined as profitable.

Ironically, federal funds cannot be expended on disbursing birth control education, condoms or abortion assistance, yet little is done to aid the mother and fetus during pregnancy and beyond.

How can the administration justify expenditures on Iraqi children, when we have hungry children among our citizenry?
So much energy spent on fomenting fears to justify exorbitant and illegal military action towards an imaginary threat, while the day-to-day reality and shame of hunger in America persists.

If this administration gave more than lip-service to human rights, serving the needs of our own citizens would be primary in their budgetary considerations. However, it is evident that fiduciary solvency is a prerequisite to gaining favor at the federal disbursement table.

The dogs must be called off, not just to save the lives of our troops, but to keep our precious tax dollars funding necessary programs at home, instead of being frittered away building and rebuilding futile efforts in the future theocracy of Iraq.

If we don't, we may find ourselves like Old Mother Hubbard who, to her surprise, could not give the doggie a bone as the cabinet was bare.

by Jim and Lisa


Anonymous Publius said...

Ranger, the thing you and I and those like us have really kind of missed over the past generation is that political elites in the US—and this is non-partisan, BTW—view the needy in their own nation through the same prism as the one they use to view the needy in other nations. This is the logical path of globalization, which, it goes without saying, has done little for the less fortunate in our nation other than to give them more choices at Walmart. OTOH, globalization has worked very well for the elites. To truly appreciate this, one needs to track what's said at one-world events for the rich and famous.

We need to understand that to the Bushes and many others in the privileged class, those of us in the tiers below are all pretty much the same, regardless of nationality. We are labor, and the emphasis is on getting it as cheaply as possible. Thus the angst in much of the US skilled and unskilled labor ranks. No one is secure in his/her job unless he/she has reached a very high level because of the "need for ROI to stockholders."

This has profound implications throughout our nation because no one who worries about their own job will be willing to pressure government to take care of our own neediest citizens.

This is also why elites have no problem whatsoever in committing US forces to questionable overseas adventures and then in using US taxpayers' money to clean up the messes. US forces are labor. And the elites' children are not in that category. Their children can safely map out their futures and rely on the beneficial aspects of globalization. The rest of us? Well, we're labor, too. The only challenge the elites have is to keep us amused while they're off running the world.

Thomas Jefferson prescribed frequent revolution as the best antidote to tyranny. He reasoned that a fearful government would take pains to ensure that its people were cared for. IOTM that our Founders were pretty smart.

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 8:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

Inequality of wealth is not to be confused with poverty, nor is it the problem but the solution in a free economy; however, when inequality is increasing, I become disturbed.

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 10:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


There is a correlation between poverty and infant mortality. There is a high poverty rate in Gadsden Co.

The countries rating highest on the infant/child welfare scale were the Scandinavian countries, all of whom have a considerably higher outlay in social programs than America.

The disparity in health or survival rates, esp. when concerning children, is not a cause for being "disturbed"; it is a cause for action.

The mistake of capitalists (and all under them who hope one day they might be in that league) is that some must suffer in order for others to benefit. It is mean-spirited, and cannot long sustain itself, or at least not and still hope to qualify for superpower status.

Note that we do not hear opposition to the outlay of sums of cash almost incomprehensible to visualize for this war, yet those same people supporting that bleeding away of tax dollars would oppose the appropriation of the smallest portion of that sum to our own needy, under the guise that they are poor because they are not industrious, or God wants them that way, or we will be encouraging neer-do-wells...

We are not talking Robin Hood-esque redistribution here; we are talking provision for programs providing minimal levels of health and welfare to all our U.S. citizens.

I suppose if one is gunning to be a militaristic superpower alone, all collected monies can go into producing war materiel, but then what are you?

A race of warriors does not a pacific nor a humane civilization make. Warriors are but a part of a well-functioning state.

To behave as though we are in a Hobbesian state of all against all will deplete our coffers rather quickly, and you will see other rising states replace us.

Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 2:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Yes, our Founders were brilliant.

The charade and the blasphemy today is that the U.S. has understaken the invasion of two countries to free people and bring the blessings of democracy to them, when in fact, the only ones enjoying the blessed fruit of these invasions are our (and their) capitalists. The poor always get shafted.

And yes, the people in our country are kept in a state of anxiety for their well-being, and are grateful to be hanging on wherever they are in the spectrum of wealth, and have no time nor interest in advocating for anyone else's needs. They reason, that might be another dollar out of their pockets.

It inculcates a brutish and grasping mentality, vs. a brotherhood. A schizoprhenia is thereby born in a nation cleaving to the religious tenet of love they brother as thyself, and esp., provide to the needy.

Them that has, gets. [Jim may want to address this further.]

Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 2:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger A.E. said...

I think Publius is really on to something when he talks about the elite view.

The DC people are all entirely managerial. They view people as abstractions that can be moved around at will like chess pieces. I have a post up about the military consequences of this sort of belief in Iraq.

Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 10:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Yes, Publius is always correct, and provocative.

Since he is more eloquent than I, I think I shall deem him "My interpreter" (!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 5:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Publius said...

Ranger, you did not need an interpreter. You do a superb job all by your lonesome. You do the heavy lifting here; I'm just a guy who picks and chooses appropriate targets for comment. I truly appreciate what you're doing here. It's been suggested to me that I do a blog or make posts on other blogs. I've always declined because I don't have the self-discipline to actually take on what I view as a serious responsibility. You do, and I respect you greatly for that.

Which brings me to another point. Did you happen to see the Washington Post article today about the shameful treatment of the troops unfortunate enough to be placed in the not-so-loving care of Walter Reed Army Medical Center? I saw the article this AM, but then, Phil Carter at Intel-Dump posted something about it.

You may rest assured I will weigh in on this issue at Intel-Dump because I have some pretty strong feelings about this subject. You should, too—on this, and on other issues. ISTM the way for you to build an audience is to post on other, more established sites. Good example: a.e. provided a link to his site. I went there and liked what I saw. I'll be visiting his blog in the future. You know, Carter thinks enough of you to link to your site; I suggest you reciprocate by participating in the discussions there. Accompanied, of course, by a link to your site.

Just a thought there, buddy. I'd like to see you reaching a whole lot of folks. I'll be providing you more thoughts directly.

And I seriously doubt that I am "always correct."

Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 6:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

To end infant mortality, why not curb single parent pregnancy; I prefer a church over a Planned Parenthood or abortion clinic. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was eugenicist nazi and dreamed of a master race of "thouroughbreads" by providing birth control to the indigents(ethnic minorities). Think about this the next time they plant a clinic in an impoverished ethnic minority neighborhood.

Both my mother and grandmother were founders of Birthright clinics. My grandmother was named prolife person of the year, and given the award by Norma McCorvey AKA Jane Roe-a fictitious person in reality- that is now very prolife.

This I will defend.

Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 10:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."
-Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race

"The purpose in promoting birth control was "to create a race of thoroughbreds,"
-Margaret Sanger, The Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921

"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
-Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America

Enough said ;)


Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 11:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

Do you factor abortions into your infant mortality rate too? Probably not...nazi?

Monday, February 19, 2007 at 12:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


"Single parent pregnancies" do not equate to infant mortality. Poverty and poor education do. If the equation you see is that poor, uneducated women can't get a good man, you could be right. If so, the solution is education and assistance for that woman, so that she can bring herself up out of poverty.

Abortions do not equate to infant mortality, which is an accounting of live births which are not viable for some period after birth in infancy.

Labeling Sanger as a Nazi is an old canard of the Prolife movement. She found Nazis "sad and horrible." You are guilty of "quote mining" here. You must take her writings in context of the complete work.

Margaret Sanger may have been a free spirit, but after seeing her Catholic mother endure 18 pregnancies, she began a revolutionary movement to educate women about their own bodies. This was during the time when women were considered not even capable of voting, hence they were not fully citizens until 1919. Sanger, Panghurst, and all of the suffragettes endured amazing privations to earn women some measure of knowledge and control over their bodies.

My own grandmother was a physician's assistant in London at this time, and was horrified at the poor married women who would come in with venereal disease, unbeknownst to them. It was given to them by their husbands, who would frequent prostitutes without prophylactics. That kind of injury, due to ignorance, is unacceptable.

When Time magazine selected Sanger as one of the 100 most influential people of the last century--something that wouldn't have been accorded to a Nazi-- Gloria Steinem explained why Sanger on occasion picked up the rhetoric of the eugenicists, but she was horrified at the concept of a master race. She was not out of line with many in her time, and in fact, the U.S. had an active sterilization program at sanitariums for the mentally feeble.--Lisa

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 1:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

You would much rather the mother have an abortion instead killing it shortly thereafter with poverty?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 9:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

The equation is that minority, single mothers, living under the poverty level, are the lowest on the totem pole. The cards are stacked against them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 9:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


I think we're on the same page here when you talk about many single and unwed mothers as being bottom on the totem pole, but I would appreciate clarification on your comment. I'm not exactly positive what your point is here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 8:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Hi Claymore,

Once again, I'm not exactly positive what you're getting at by your comment re. abortion and killing with poverty. Could you clarify for me, please?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 8:06:00 PM GMT-5  

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