Monday, May 23, 2011

On the Subject of Israel

President Obama recently (as in Thursday or Friday, but I'm too lazy to go look up exactly when) stated that he believed Israel should return to their pre-1967 borders. That of course means that Israel would have to give up the land they conquered and are now holding in violation of a UN treaty that they did, in fact, sign, forbidding the occupation of conquered territory.

As a result, my Christian friends on Facebook have been in an uproar, shouting about how America is going to be cursed because we're not going to "support" Israel anymore.

Number one, dear Christians, the Bible says nothing about "supporting" Israel. It says if someone blessed Abraham, they would be blessed, and if they cursed Abraham, they would be cursed. This promise was only reiterated twice, to Isaac and Jacob, so to some people, it's up in the air if that promise even applies to the entirety of the Hebrew bloodline. Next, it comes down to what a blessing and a curse actually is.

I'm sorry, but I do not think telling Israel that the IDF is nothing but a glorified hit squad and needs to be reformed is cursing Israel. I think that that is trying to save lives. Even if they are Palestinian lives, and obviously worthless in the eyes of God (honestly, I actually had somebody tell me almost exactly that. He later unfriended me because I had the audacity to suggest that the Palestinians and Hebrews were of the same value in the eyes of Jesus Christ). Nor do I think it is blessing Israel to continue playing both sides of the conflict over there and giving them all guns so they can even more effectively kill each other.

More than that, there comes a time when we just have to take care of ourselves, and forget about the rest of the world. Yes, that includes Israel. Israel has proven she can take care of herself without our help. She has the most highly-trained military on the planet, who have proven time and time again that they don't care how many people they kill, even if those people are innocents. Israel will be just fine, I promise you.

Meanwhile, America which is, by the way, our country (I'm not an Israeli, in case you missed that), is facing an ever-mounting national debt that nobody really wants to do anything about, unemployment that doesn't seem to be getting any better despite Obama's rhetoric about how quickly we were going to come back, and other conflicts abroad that were really stupid to begin with. Let's deal with our own problems, and let the rest of the world deal with theirs.

I'm pretty sure we're not going to get cursed for it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Punditry and Confusion

So it seems to me that the pundits nowadays don't seem to know what to say about the Middle East uprisings. They putter about the issue, trying to make it sound ambiguous so that, no matter what the official line ends up being, they'll come out looking good.

I don't think anybody is quite sure what to think. On the one hand, these popular uprisings are against tyrannical governments. Those same tyrannical governments have been involved in torture, human rights violations on a massive scale, etc. They also give us oil. These are popular movements that are tired of living under their tyrannical governments, and are trying to get rid of said government, following in the footsteps of other great revolutionaries like, oh, George Washington. Except they're Muslim.

On the other hand, gas prices have skyrocketed as a consequence of these uprisings, and that's not good. Furthermore, there's always the dire possibility that the people in these countries will decide that they *gasp* want a government founded upon the tenets of their religion. The horror! We can't have that! Because they hate us! And they won't do what we tell them! They might not sell oil to us!

But then again, if the pundits don't support the uprisings, they'll end up looking like radical Statists who want to take away all liberty from every human everywhere, thereby reversing the American Tradition that has upheld...something all these years. But if they do support them, they might end up looking like proponents of state-funded, radical Islamic terror.

What a dilemma.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Weird and Weirder

So after realizing that I've fallen sorely behind on blogging, I decided to do another combined post! I know, I know. I use these to excuse my lack of posting far too often, and I apologize. But today, I even come prepared with a theme! That theme is things that really make me go: O.o

So, without further ado:
Number one : The solution to national debt

It will never cease to amaze me how the first response to the phrase "we need to reduce the national debt" is "let's just raise taxes!"

Am I the only one who just flat doesn't get that?

I mean, I understand. We need more revenue coming in before we can pay off our debt. That would probably be a good thing. What isn't a good thing is assuming that's going to be the only we start spending even more money...and keep borrowing money from China...because any ten year old will tell you that if you keep borrowing, you're never going to pay off your debt. It doesn't work very well.

Of course, any ten year old would probably also be able to tell you that if any household managed their finances like the US government does, they'd be sent to jail. But I digress.

I suppose what gets me is that the "let's raise taxes" solution isn't accompanied by anything more concrete, like...reducing the astronomically large offense - ahem, I mean, defense - budget, or reducing/restructuring medicaid benefits, or cutting off/reducing planned social security payments to the upcoming generation, since there isn't really any money there, anyway. There a million places we could cut funding, yet...the first idea that comes to mind to reduce the debt is...spend more, but raise taxes to sort-of compensate. Not promote fiscal responsibility, and live within our means, but instead live just like we did before, and hope we can make more money to pay for it.

This makes tons of sense.
Number two : The Republicans

I've been consistently puzzled by the quandary formed by the Republican party. They seem incapable of finding a candidate that can actually compete in the national elections.

I mean, I'm beginning to think that it's like some sort of rite that goes on every election at the RNC. All of the super-rich people who make decisions in political parties like that get together around a table, stare at each other for a minute, and then say, "Okay, we have here the list of prospective candidates for our party. Now which one is completely incapable of doing anything but spouting talking points and looking stupid?"

I'm not a Republican. You know this. But still. I'd like to at least have some sort of somebody that I could cheer on and not sound like an utter loser. So really, GOP, would it be too difficult to nominate someone who's actually smart and has the ability to talk without sounding like an idiot? You know, like...Ron Paul. Or Gary Johnson. Or both of them together. (That combination, by the way, would be something close to political dynamite. I'm just saying.)

But I think it's pretty safe to say that people like Newt Gingrich (who is a laugh), Mitt Romney (who is a socialist), Herman Cain (who, from what I hear, is nothing but a warmongering talking-point machine), Sarah Palin ('nuff said) aren't really helping the conservative cause.

Number three : Osama bin Laden is Dead. Long Live the TSA.

I suppose it was rather idealistic of me to expect my freedom to come back when we killed the Big Bad. Perhaps it's just because I'm used to stories where, when we kill the bad guy, things go back to the way they were before. Yeah, that's probably it.

But it seems that in the aftermath of the death of the Biggest Threat to Mankind Anywhere, we have to increase security, not calm down because he's dead.


But isn't the single threat to America dead?

Oh, that's right. Bin Laden wasn't the only one. That's right. I remember now. Really, there's this faceless horde that he's been training, just waiting for the day when they can strike. Somehow. Hopefully not with bombs that don't work, because those are just too easy to laugh off.

This all goes back to the idea, I believe, that we have to be tremendously frightened at any given time that something is going to come and kill us, even when nothing is. And that something, of course, has to hate us simply because we're free, not because oh, they disagree with us ideologically, or they think our actions are imperialistic in nature and arguably illegal.

So, in order to feel safe from this mysterious threat, we have to continue our security efforts in our airports, and maybe even expand those security efforts to train stations, subways, and even your local grocery store. Because, after all, we can't ever be truly safe. You never know when bin Laden will come back to life.

So yes. Three things that make absolutely no sense to me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

bin Laden is Dead

I am so relieved Osama bin Laden was killed. Because, you know, I never knew when I might be brutally killed. By him. In a plane.

I decided that it was high time I say something about this subject, especially since I haven't blogged in, oh, a month. I'm quite sorry. Really, I am. Life has been ridiculous. You see, my mother has this annoying habit of constantly surpassing my high scores in various Facebook games. So, it has become one of my quests in life to beat her scores. It's a long quest. On top of that, I currently have a very large stack of reading material, including "Our Man in Tehran," by Robert Wright, which I believe shall prove to be quite interesting. Oh, and I'm trying to read through my Bible in 90 days. I'm currently near day 50, and it's...going well. I haven't missed a day yet.

But you don't really care about that all that, and I don't know why I'm rambling on about my personal life, because if you wanted to know about that, you'd go read my other blog. So.

Yes, Osama bin Laden is dead. Yes. A great menace...threat...thing to humanity et al has been removed. Because...he managed to many other people after we started chasing him. With thousands of soldiers.

There's something ridiculous, to my mind, about expending literally trillions of dollars, thousands of soldier's lives, and ten years of time to catch one man. Of course, that's not including the hundreds of thousands of Afghani civilians we've killed, nor the other hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians we've killed. Although Iraq had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden.

So basically, not much is new. We're still not going to pull out of Afghanistan, because the big bad insurgency is still there. And God forbid the Afghanis like...try to defend themselves. That would be horrible. We're also not leaving Iraq anytime in the near future, and since we've just invaded Libya - while, of course, making it very clear that we haven't invaded Libya - there's still going to be plenty of Middle Eastern ridiculousness for me to comment on.

So yes, Americans. Osama bin Laden, our Emmanuel Goldstein, is dead. You can go to sleep now, and let the government take care of you. Because it knows everything.