Sunday, November 29, 2009

Epic Fail

I've come to doubt all that I once held true
--Simon and Garfunkel

Obama’s blend of chill opportunism,

draped in high-minded verbiage,

is beginning to rile some liberals –

the same way Jimmy Carter’s similar mix did thirty years ago

--The Auld Triangle Goes Jingle Jangle,
Alexander Cockburn


Fearing the military mindset, the Founding Fathers set up a cumbersome command relationship
to preclude rampant military games. But ultimately they wanted the people to decide if they wanted war or not, as it was a decision to be made by their proxies -- Senators and Congressmen.

The Founders did not forsee a civilian authority driving the war machine, as we have today. Instead, the civilian C-in-C was envisioned as a brake that would be applied to slow or halt a military march to madness. The power of Congress to declare war (or not) was another set of brakes which, taken together, should stop any ill-advised military action. The will of The People should trump that of the C-in-C, though that is not how it has played out.

Andrew Jackson used the military in defiance of the Supreme Court to order the Army to evacuate the Cherokee in the Trail of Tears. President Polk wanted a war with Mexico; same for Wilson with Germany in World War I. Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted war with Germany and Japan.

With Truman, we saw a C-in-C commit to major combat action in Korea without a declaration of war. Same with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Same as George HW Bush, Reagan, George W Bush and now, riding on their coattails, Barack Obama. Except now, there is no war or even country to fight.
Now, we fight wars against groups of people.

What do we as a people do when our leaders fail in their constitutional duties? Politics has become more important than life-and-death issues such as war-making. The Congress and the Courts fail to counterbalance an aggressive, war-hungry Executive, and the electorate accepts this travesty as democracy.

It is a self-evident truth that
democracy is a non-functional concept when the President can unilaterally commit U.S. troops to major combat actions without a whimper of dissent from the Congress or the People.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn’t also about an almost total take over of the said govt. of the people by Corp. Amerika? The latest WH occupant got there on a grass roots campaign but then turned his back on them. They will do their corp. master bidding until there really is change you can believe in. I still believe until lobbing and corp. money is taken out of campaigns there’s not a lot of hope. Yes, I voted for them but was there a real choice and I received the govt. I knew I would. Off to fix dinner and open the wine.

Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 7:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Alright, jo, onto topics that will make us feel better this Sun. night:

What is your food and wine pairing? Now that I know you're a true connoisseur, inquiring minds want to know :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 8:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

true dat ranger.

what we have going on right now is absolutely against what our founders had hoped for.

as usual with things like this, it started slowly. the examples you cited are valid. jackson's using the federal army to defy the supreme court (i would hold this opinion without native american heritage) was the first of many.

john adams had the face of an 18th century out of control military standing right there in his office. alexander hamiliton, in a resplendent uniform of his own design, was proposing to adams his vision of the continental army, bold and brilliant, with himself at its head, first taking florida and louisiana, then texas, then chihuahua, then saltillo, then mexico city, then on down into cental and south america. "liberating" folks all along the way.

even a decidedly non-military mind like adams could see the folly in plans that require the invaded populations to rise up and join you as you march. (ask the guys who invaded iraq about that shit yo) adams could also see the total hubris of hamilton. hamilton's pride had been hurt by the "natural born" provision of the constitution, which had been put there to once and for all thwart any designs hamilton might have on the presidency. he instead saw himself as the head of a vast, ever growing, conquering army. he could have been our very own che. exporting endless revolution and war across the hemisphere.

adams told him to get back into some civvies and go back to work.

one would hope that the bad record of war by presidential fiat might make some folks think twice. korea is still officially a stalemate, vietnam was a loss, the amount of troops that did the ass kickings in grenada and panama (without even going into the case that if noriega was really the monster they made him out to be that motherfucker escaped from our labs same as saddam) make that less of a victory, if you can't win resoundingly with those kind of overwhelming numbers you shouldn't be in the field. lebanon, failure. somalia, failure. the balkans, not a failure, but a stupid waste for no discernable benefit. afghanistan, stupid. iraq, bloody stupid.

that whole "we can't wait in today's environment" doesn't fly with me. waiting is almost always one of the better strategies, because things change. the slow and cumbersome path to war that our founders envisioned was one of the real genius things they built.

we have ignored that wisdom to our great sorrow and loss.

Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 8:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

My quick fix? Allow women into the combat arms. A couple of videos on YouTube of US female troops stacked up like cordwood in some foreign misadventure and the next President would be hesitant to go to war when the whim hits him. It's perfectly alright to send GI Joe in harm's way, but GI Joanie? We could never do that.

Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 8:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Went over to the Capitol of our Great Nation over the Vet's Day holiday to shoot a little footage for my film on Vietnam.
Came back home sick.
Place made me sick.
Wonder why?
Couldn't believe how militarized the place is, even tho it's in the oddest of ways. Busses carrying big ol' messages about how "Warrior-Like" it is for the "war-fighter "to ask for help" while the poles and billboards carry images of soldiers..err, "warfighters" either flying big planes, or riding on the new War Car, or whate'er it is they call tht big ol machine they ride in or handing out bottled water to little girls.
All brought to us by ITT, Lockheed, Martin Marietta and Coke.

Stood in the rain at the Wall listening to Jan Scruggs, who , admirably, started the effort to build the thing, as well as the the owner of the San Antonio Spurs and the Secretary of the Interior and the President of Dartmouth (Ret) extol the ’noble sacrafice” that was Vietnam.
I was told over and again, by each and every one of them how the war was about “protecting our freedom and way of life.” I’m beginning to see why I got sick.

Goddamnest revisionist history I’ve heard in awhile. From everyone of ‘em.
Having interviewed Scruggs Vet’s Day before last, I would have figured he’d have presented a different spin.
Man’s gotta work.

Don’t think we gonna win this round, boys and girls.
Used to be we had about a twenty year cycle of war in our history—one for each generation. Now, we got Perma-War.
What ‘s good for bidness is good for America.
War is good bidness—invest your sons and daughters.

Seems to me tht most of our fellow citizens just don’t give a shit about killing (pick one—or more) Afghanis, Haitians, Salvaderanos, Nicaraguense,Somalians, Vietnamese, Grenadans, Iraqis, Guatamalans…the list is ad nauseum.

Or they be afraid---of dark haired men.

Sad that it’s so, but they ain’t gonna be no revolution at the barricades to stop this madness..
Not in our lifetimes.
War-mongers won—again

There it is.


Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 11:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A bottle of Smokin Loon and a pack of Pork skins will set the palate to its finest edge.
You betcha

Do they still make Thunderbird"

"What's the word:
What's the price?
Fifty twice"


Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 11:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


That's the saddest, albeit most poetic, roundup of such an event I believe I've ever read.

Also, I see we have a true gourmand on our hands :)


That would be one solution. There is an d always will be for us, I believe, a division in how we see the proper roles of the sexes. That may be meet, and I may write something on that re. our new female CSM Commandant of the drill sergeant school.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 11:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Military Industrial Complex is driving the train high on cocaine.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa here last nights menu pretty boring but I included next Sunday this is home made
Chicken Florentine frozen in a bag
Rosenblum Zin

My cousin normal does dinner for me on my birthday but I invited her and husband to my place.
Wine SB is Honing
C is Chappellet/Heitz/Ruthford Ranch
Cab/Cab Frac will Heitz 99 Martha Vineyard or Cab F from Chappellet/William Harrison
The pie comes from Gizdich Ranch in Hollister, Calif.

Menu for Dec. 6, 2009

1. 4:00pm Abalone served with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
2. 4:40pm Crab Cakes served with a crisp Chardonnay.
3. 5:15pm Spinach Salad with egg, bacon, artichoke hearts, and Mustard Oil dressing. Served with a crisp Chardonnay
4. 6:00pm Salmon grilled then baked with a Mustard coating. Red wine Chefs choice
5. 7:15pm Apricot Pie served with Ink Grade Port

Disclaimer: If any of the above cause you discomfort please take it up with any Management person you might find that cares what you think.
Disclaimer: Chef not responsible for you being late to the Theater if times of courses aren’t meant.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 3:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...



I would be in 7th heaven to merely be present for the dessert course: "7:15pm Apricot Pie served with Ink Grade Port," apricots being a favorite.

West Coast ethos deviates brilliantly from the Southeast. You are a man who knows how to live.

p.s. -- you should share this with Mr. Gray, just to initiate his salivating response ;)

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 3:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have left it there and I also couldn't stay out of the conversation that is going on there. I want to say thanks to Ranger, TMS, and other commentors here, I alway learn some history.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 6:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I always learn something, too, jo, and am appreciative for everyone in our little community.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 6:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

I think I'd say dis-functional rather then non-functional. It seems to function fine for the MICC and Wall Street.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 10:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dysfunctional it is.

I rely on my Mensa members to keep me straight on the finer linguistic points :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 1:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...


And obviously I need to rely on psych majors for proper spelling. I used to drive my teachers literally NUTS. They just couldn't grasp that my mind sometimes didn't have time to slow down for niceties like grammar and spelling. These days of course they'd just drug me into compliance. ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 9:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Sad it is that everything is pathologized these days. We are a terrible over-medicated nation, IMO, and they start by being drugged kids.

We are not living correctly. In a store just a moment ago, I heard a lady on her cell, balancing two calls. The saddest part was her comment to the break-in call: "I am so sorry -- I literally have not had one moment to return your call since this a.m...." She was heavy and eating junk food, while talking, pushing a cart, at 9:30 p.m.

Another heavy acquaintance was overheard earlier in the evening explaining his virtual farm via cell: "You can buy crates for the chickens at $5,000. As you move up levels, you can buy more interesting seeds. Choose fast growing crops -- 3 days -- or they might die if you forget about them ..."

I feel like a stranger in a strange land, at times.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 10:57:00 PM GMT-5  

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