A US drone landed in Iran earlier this month. The Iranians are claiming to have the drone in its entirety.
The Iranians recovered the crashed drone or managed to land it and now the US is asking for our spy plane back.
Hey, we’re spying on you, but would you mind sending us back our multi-million dollar piece of spy equipment? We need it back so we can spy on you some more and then, eventually, invade you when the timing is better…
Hillary Clinton said “given Iran’s behavior to date, we do not expect them to comply”.
The US has bombed and killed 100k+ CIVILIANS in Iraq. That might explain Iran’s distrust of the US and reluctance to hand over the drone.
Iran is in possession of a FOREIGN object that landed on their own soil and Hillary Clinton questions their behavior for refusing to give back a drone that was being used against them?
- What would be our reaction if China sent a drone over one of our cities?
- What if it crashed in a major city? Would we return it? What would the collective reaction be?
- Is Obama anymore tactful than Bush by asking for a piece of spy equipment back?
- Do Obama supporters really believe he is different on foreign policy than Bush?
- Is the expense of building, flying, crashing unmanned drones worth it?
- Why did Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize?
What’s wrong with this picture?
This government funded meal of pizza, cherry pie, fruit bar, lettuce and chocolate milk is supposed to help children whose parents cannot afford to pay for their meals.
Let’s take a closer look at what goes into this government funded meal.
- The iceberg lettuce was most likely grown on a megafarm, assisted with herbicides and pesticides. Large scale factory farms lobby heavily to push small farms and “unregulated” farmers out of business via burdensome regulations or unnecessary licensing.
- The meat, milk and cheese in the lunch are all likely from dairy cows that are housed in a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation and fed an unnatural diet of grains to make the animal gain weight as fast as possible. The cow might potentially be fed with growth hormones. The hormones, in one fashion or another, pass through the child’s body.
- The packaging, dessert wrapping, and utensils are all likely produced by a factory in China. There is a good chance the factory waste will not be disposed of properly. The revenues from the sale of these goods, in some fashion, support the Communist party, which routinely suppresses free speech, civil liberties and opinions critical of the government. The shipping voyage from China burned through finite resources such as oil and gas before reaching their final destination.
- The corn that produced the high fructose corn syrup in the flavored milk, “fruit bar” and cherry pie most likely came from federally subsidized agribusiness enterprises. The cycle of farm subsidies, campaign contributions and re-electing those who approve farm subsidies allows the cycle of market distortion to continue. Government chooses to support certain, favored industries which hurts other producers and industries that do not receive those same subsidies.
- The government worker handing out this meal will potentially collect overtime for summer work and, eventually, a pension, which the city receiving this assistance has probably not fully funded. The employee, most likely a union member, will vote for whichever candidate their union has financially supported with tax dollars from the community. The government employee handing out this meal cannot provide the care, attention, and atmosphere of a loving household.
- The child, eating this meal, begins the slow march towards diabetes, cancer and other ailments from eating a lifetime of nutrient-devoid, heavily processed food. Having a diet so high in sugar at such a young age will likely make them less likely to choose healthier food in the long run.
- The wasted food and packaging will finally head to a landfill where it will rot. The annual cost to simply dispose of wasted food is around $1bn per year.
- To fund this program, the federal government had to borrow the money, tax its citizens or print the money. All monetary costs will most likely be paid by persons other than the beneficiaries of this program.
The producers of this meal will continue to fund the production of unhealthy, environmentally damaging food. They will continue to reinvest their revenues, in some fashion, to expand their enterprise and keep this cycle going.
The consumers of this meal, poor schoolchildren, will learn that free food is a right, provided for by others and not worth enjoying, savoring or preparing.
The parent, absolved of their most basic responsibilities as an adult human, is shielded from the feedback loop of sacrifice, self-reliance, and caring for their young. They will not have to approach friends, family, a church, or a charitable organization to deal with their realities of being unwilling or unable to feed their own children.
Every decision has consequences, both explicit and implicit. All that matters in life are our decisions.
The consequences of supporting these priorities are profound. Constructive outcomes are totally avoided and destructive choices are encouraged.
The cycle continues.
Attempting to help “feed poor schoolchildren” is making our world poorer, in every possible sense of the word.
Bloomberg provides a telling example of what is wrong in DC. Senate’s Health-Care Legislation Poised for Passage
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to win final passage by Dec. 24 now that he secured the vote of his party’s last holdout, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson.
He finally struck a deal that satisfied his demand to keep U.S. subsidies from being used for abortion and won an agreement for more aid to help Nebraska provide coverage for the uninsured.
Nelson said the language satisfied him, though it drew criticism from antiabortion groups. The Nebraska lawmaker also won another prize, with additional Medicaid costs to his state being absorbed by the federal government.
The agreement came late on Dec. 18 over a handshake.
“It was a pretty powerful moment,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “That’s what this place is built on, handshakes legalized bribery.” (emphasis Inthon)
Upon closer inspection of its “accomplishments”, we discover our government is a transparent kickback machine; something which is manipulated and used to advance one’s career and line one’s pocket.
Governments disintegrate when citizens and lawmakers reject individual, familial and community responsibility and instead believe in the goodness of “free money” (printed up or borrowed, of course) and citizens and lawmakers feel no sense of self-ownership.
What hope remains for the future when there is no incentive to encourage individual responsibility and self-ownership?
Governments stop functioning and cannibalize themselves when politicians shift from representing an informed group of constituents to becoming professional raiders for their financial backers (unions, other politicians or corporate interests).
Takeaway: Have no faith in national politics or national politicians. Self-reliance and community reliance are more robust and sustainable.
As a child, I always used to take note of coupons and mailings which had the word “FREE” on them. I would mistakenly believe that these items represent value, rather than an attempt to move stale merchandise or lure in customers who would eventually spend more. While kids fall for this trick, adults know there is no such thing as a “free lunch”.
As we mature, we realize nothing worthwhile comes easy. Just as an alcoholic has to struggle through the shame and humiliation of addiction and the superstar athlete has to struggle through off-season practice, individuals can only grow and strengthen through facing pain.
Nature also teaches us that nothing is free. The Law of Conservation of Energy and The Law of Conservation of Mass state that all energy and mass are conserved. They may be redistributed, however, they are neither created nor diminished.
On a national level, we cannot escape our economic problems pain-free either.
Here are a handful of financial problems we are facing:
- Drastically unfunded pensions
- Trillion dollar deficits
- Toxic assets bought with taxpayer assistance to avoid bank balance sheet meltdowns
- Total reliance on government retirement and health benefits as population ages
- Total lack of comprehension that government cannot create new wealth, it can only redistribute or reallocate previous wealth.
The answers from our leaders have been to buy more time, borrow more money and avoid reality as long as possible. The sleight of hand of verbal obfuscation (Congressional grandstanding, Fedspeak) and cheerful optimism will not fix these underlying issues. Debts need to be repaid or defaulted on, they cannot be rolled over forever at favorable interest rates.
The flood of new money and credit is not prosperity, it is a sugar high that is not sustainable. Like a marathon runner who vomits with exhaustion and dehydration, we cannot expect a packet of sugary government goo to provide us with meaningful sustenance.
When will this painful “growth” of financial sanity occur? When will this reality be faced? When will the veneer of prosperity via interventionism be ripped off?
Takeaway: We only grow when we challenge our worldviews, struggle, and exit our comfort zone. Comfort and complacency is the enemy.
We often hear the phrase “(constituency being courted) built the middle class!”
To me, the “middle class” to me is a fancy politician’s word used to build up support from voting blocs.
Who really built the “middle class”, or more importantly, who has built the source of increasing, compounding wealth in America? Entrepreneurs.
Those color-blind, money-hungry, “greedy”, consumer-pleasing entrepreneurs… They are the providers of jobs and the source of constant, incremental improvement in all areas of our lives from customer service to technology. The motivation of profits and freedom has motivated thousands across the world to flock to our country and engage in mutually beneficial transactions.
Blue collar workers who punch a clock in a factory did not build a middle class, anymore than the teenager at McDonald’s built the corporation it is today. It is the owner, with his ass/reputation/money/credit/pride on the line that deserves the credit.
The collectivist mindset of saving the “middle class” espoused by both Democrats/Republicans or anyone running for office is a lame attempt to curry favor with those groups of people giving them credit for accomplishments they are not directly responsible for.
As always, better to focus on providing value, in any capacity, for friends, family, employers and customers rather than relying on a politician to get elected and give your voting bloc the goodies it was promised.
Thank you for reading.
To clarify: Banks/oil companies/auto companies and any other big businesses that lobby for benefits or get bailouts do not qualify; I will make sure to clear up this distinction in a future post.
To read more about the US financial situation, click here.