A tough job Americans will do.

 

JP Mac’s Armed Forces Day Rant:

This we'll defend colorWe hear all the time in seems about tough jobs that supposedly, American’s won’t do.  I don’t believe it, mainly because I’ve worked in several of those jobs myself. Thank God there is one really tough job that for centuries, so far enough Americans have wanted to do.  One where the pay and living conditions aren’t always the best, one that calls for huge sacrifices on the part of those who volunteer to do it and their families:  Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Americans are supposedly too soft to do some jobs.  No American would take a job filling sandbags in 110 degree heat, right?  Surely no one living in the greatest nation in world history would slog through a mosquito infested swamp, walk for half a day though the forest, or climb a mountain just to get to the job-site.  Who from this country would choose a job that makes you long for things things like warm food, hot water, a bed?  Of course no self -respecting, video game playing, social media obsessed American would ever want to stay out in sub-freezing weather for hours watching an empty field or patch of sea right?  Yet somehow for generations, by the tens of thousands, Americans have volunteered to for jobs that entail doing all of these things and more– and by the way, sometimes while people are trying hard to kill them.

Thank God for such men and women.  For some reason,  (rarely the great pay) they have decided to, at least temporarily, forgo many of comforts that come with so many other jobs.  For some, it’s the promise of adventure, or having that “hero” switch, or protector gene.  Other just want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It may be that they realize that they live in a country– more that many others, that is worth fighting for. They, in put the ‘exceptionalism’ in American Exceptionalism.  Whatever the reason, these men and women have chosen a vocation that routinely requires sacrifice, sometime of the ultimate kind.  That is why today is their day, a day for them to be proud, and the rest of America to be proud of them.

Thank you!

-JP Mac

 

 

Time to rant again.

No laptop today, so no long, well thought out article.  Instead, random thoughts on the situation in Europe.  Maybe a few discussion topics to boot.  So here goes:

Obama just can’t resist belittling those he disagrees with.  I guess he’s given up on trying to sound like a statesman.  I would pay good money to see him debate Ted Cruz on the refugee issue.  Pay per view guys?

Speaking of refugees, since when is it wrong to actually vet refugees who came from a part of the world controlled by people who want to kill us?  Why does it make sense to commit to taking in a specific number of people?  Would it not make sense to say only the maximum number of refugees we’ll take in, like maybe the first ten thousand that can be properly vetted?  It doesn’t matter how many we can take in, it’s how many up to a certain number that we can trust  walking our streets.

After Paris, we find  ourselves at a crossroads.  We have to decide whether  to  lead, follow, or get out of the way.  The only choice that does not lead to our humiliation is leading.  If we allow Russia to lead, we’ll  have to be willing to do things their way.  Their way is the heavy hand. We might call it “winning ugly”, they just call it winning.

USA Behind France Ally
Vive la France!

Maybe we don’t  have to become Russia, but if France is willing  to bomb a target, we should be willing also.  We won’t  win if we’re not wiling to get our hands dirty.

First and foremost, we need to commit to defeating, not containing, but defeating ISIL.  A good way to do that would be a good old-fashioned  declaration of war.  Once you make such a clear statement of intent, there is no going  back, you have to follow up by taking massive action.  While we’re declaring war, we should invoke article five of the NATO treaty. Certainly all the criteria have been met with the Paris attacks.

Maybe you have different ideas, maybe you’d like to vent in your own special, literary way.  Maybe you agree with most or all on this page.   Hopefully though,  you’re not indifferent.

 

 

 

Let’s have a discussion about “national discussions”.

It seems like every time America experiences a traumatic incident such as the shootings in South Carolina, every time there is an important political decision to be made, every time we face any difficult situation of any sort there is one constant, an increasingly predictable response on the part of our leaders and their supporters.  The President has called for them, the press demands them, politicians propose them.  We bloggers fancy that we engage in them, they’re called ‘national discussions’, and the concept is so overused as to be almost meaningless.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have national discussions, it’s just that the phrase itself has become so tired as to become meaningless.  Sometimes it is a subtle sign of in intellectually impoverished argument.  If you can’t prove your point, call for a discussion on it. Pundits and politicians sometimes call for them as a substitute for real action, as if a problem could just be talked to death. We were supposed to have a ‘national discussion’ about gun control after the massacre in Charleston, race relations after Ferguson, and so on.

What if I wanted to have a national discussion on climate change?  If my position is that the whole thing is an overblown scare campaign meant as an excuse to redistribute wealth, will I be engaged in a substantive way, or will I be called a “Flat-earther” and roundly condemned.  What kind of discussion is that?  If in the interest of engaging in a national discussion on gay marriage I were to simply suggest that such a thing at very least would require us to alter our definition of the term, even if I don’t stake a position on its actual morality, I’d almost certainly be called a bigot or homophobe.

And just how do we have them?  Blogs?  Social media?  Can a meaningful conversation be held in 150 character increments?  How much is actual discussion and how much of it is just collective monologue.  Even this essay is a monologue, until someone comments on it.

Much preferable in my opinion would be to bring back national declarations.  Imagine a president or other leader truly speaking on our behalf.  It’s been done before; Churchill throughout WWII, Kennedy stating we would land a man on the moon within a decade, Dr. Martin Luther KIng’s “I have a dream” speech.  Imagine an American president declaring we will send astronauts to Mars within the next fifteen years.  What if our president were to declare that ISIS would be defeated before he leaves office, whatever it took.  How great would it be to hear Israel would be supported in plain, unequivocal, non-apologetic language.  Even Khrushchev said “we will bury you”.  thankfully he was wrong, but I bet he didn’t call for a national discussion.  Reagan didn’t call for a national dialogue on the merits of the Iron Curtin, he called instead for Mr. Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!”  If your principles are clear and your values not muddled, you can say that sort of thing.

We can have a dialogue on some things.  Sometimes meaningful debate is the only way to come upon a solution, our Constitution was the subject to great debate. On some issues though, we ought to be able to easily forego discussion and resolve to speak with one voice.  We don’t need to discuss the merits of banishing ISIS from the earth, we just need to decide to do it.  When our leaders do call for a national discussion on something, they should be prepared to listen to the other side and not attempt to marginalize them. Don’t call for discussion when you really mean monologue.  Don’t confuse talk for real action.

That’s my opinion, OK go ahead and discuss!