Too much government means too little personal freedom. Right and Left agree.


Manipulated America: DividedIn today’s New York Times there is an article outlining the growing realization among both Right and Left that government intrusion into the lives of private citizens relative to the criminal justice system has gone too far.

In an article entitled Right and Left Join to Oppose Government in Criminal Cases , we find that conservatives and libertarians have joined forces with civil liberties groups in a grass roots effort to stop the slow and creeping criminalization of American life by the police and criminal justice systems in the country. Finally! This has certainly been a long time coming.


In another related article entitled Line Drawn in One Case Dissolves in Another, we see the justice system in the U.S. is wrestling with taking into account the age of the perpetrator when delivering sentencing for grievous crimes. It is uneven across states and injustices for child criminals are many.

In this article, Charges Detail Road to Terror for 20 in U.S. , we see that there have been succesful efforts to recruit American residents for overseas terror assignments at a much heftier level than we imagined.  This is going to be a tough nut to crack amoung our immigrant Muslim population.

In this article, Pressure Builds Over Obama’s Afghanistan Plan , we read that senior Congressional Democrats are not happy with the way the war in Afghanistan is being played out and are making their unhappiness known to the President.

Here is the opening paragraph to the article:

"WASHINGTON — As President Obama nears a decision on a troop increase for the war in Afghanistan, he is facing increasingly vocal criticism from senior Congressional Democrats over the war’s cost, the size of the United States troop commitment and the reliability of America’s allies"

That is an understatement to say the least.  Why are we there?  No one has clearly explained this to us in any way that is acceptable to us relative to the cost in blood and treasure.

If this is only one more boondoggle to make wealthy Americans even wealthier, my vote is "No".

I am not much of a science-head and so I cannot speak to this issue intelligently but this article, Near Geneva, Particles Finally Come Together With a Bang, shows the door opening to the micro world of quantum physics in a very big way as of yesterday.

Nothing will be the same in science after yesterday, even a science-Neanderthal like me can see that. Away we go!  Hang onto your hats.

In this editorial by the Times entitled Turkey and the Kurds, we see that the government of Turkey is finally, after many generations, taking steps to fairly treat the Kurds as full citizens. This will have a huge impact in Afghanistan I am sure.

In a very important Op Ed piece by Bob Herbert relative to veterans issues entitled Signs of Hope, we learn that the U.S. is the leader in technological advances to ensure green energy takes hold. With a large amount of discipline we can go hugely green in the next decade.

This is very important to veterans since the USA has been going to war over oil since 1941 (actually 1939 but lets not bicker). A ‘green’ USA relative to energy production and consumption means there is no need to go to war over fuel supplies. Good idea, eh?

Roger Cohen in an Op Ed piece on Obama called Obama in His Labyrinth, laments the fact that the President is smart and very capable but still has not closed one important deal on the international stage. We need to start opening ourselves to the fact that we are losing influence due to the financial meltdown of last year.

Is this Obama’s fault or are we simply not the "player" we once were? I think it is the latter case.

The On This Day section of the New York Times has the following statement printed.

"On Nov. 24, 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy. "

Do you think we will ever know what actually happened in this great tragedy involving this Presidential assasination? Me neither.

In today’s Washington Post the lead-off article entitled McChrystal and U.S. ambassador to testify on Afghanistan war, we learn that President Obama will probably announce his troop escalation decision on Afghanistan next week.

Why are we even there?

In this article, Blacks hit hard by economy’s punch, we learn that 34.5% of young black men in the USA are unemployed. This is an invitation to social disaster.

In this article, Fort Hood probe brings mosque unwanted attention, we learn that federal investigators have turned their investigation in the direction of the mosque where Major Nidal Hasan, M.D., U.S. Army worshipped.

In this article Iraqi parliament passes another election law, we learn that the Iraqi Parliament has passed yet another law to allow elections to go forward next year. Without a ratified law on this subject the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is not a sure thing.

And in an equally crazy legislative bit of whackiness in our country we read in this article, Justice probing lawmaker with oversight over department, that the fox is once again guarding the henhouse in the U.S. Congress!

From the BBC News today we learn that the British government has now started its investigation of its own involvement in the debacle in Iraq. "Iraq inquiry told of ‘clear’ threat from Saddam Hussein" is the article.

We have a large spread of news today over many important issues and it is in our interests as veterans to get as informed as possible on as many subject areas of relevance to our society and our government as we can. When we learn all that we can about our environment, we are in a better position to control it.

Get informed and stay informed. It is your civic duty to assist in governing this republic and you cannot do that when operating from ideology, you can only do that from an informed state of mind.

Have a good day, and stay informed.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)


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