Category Archives: Putin

The Melian Dialogues





“The purpose of war is peace.” – St. Augustine

In 1964, President Johnson told us that although we “sought no wider war,” aggression had to be met with aggression. We ended up fighting the entire Vietnam conflict with no clear idea of what “peace” would be.

In 2003 we invaded Iraq to eliminate WMD’s and get Sadaam Hussein. But what was the plan for what would be “peace?”

Today, and pretty much for the last five years, every time there is a report of the use of a chemical weapon, we posture and preen, and then shoot off some cruise missiles. Many of our Leaders have explained to us that this is not “war” in their definition, so we don’t even need to bother thinking about what the “peace” would be?

In the most recent use of chemical weapons, the echoes of the Melian Dialogues resound through history. “The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”

Is a mother who fed who child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the worst mother on the face of the planet? And will it even matter if the world ends in ten days?


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My Universe In a Nutshell



If I were to pick the books which have most influenced my life, there would be three of them:

Cosmos – Carl Sagan
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
Genesis and the Big Bang – Gerald Schroeder

One stands above the others, Hawking’s book – A Brief history of Time – came out at a time when I was drifting pretty aimlessly. The combination of the three books made a huge impact, but it was Hawking’s that… well… made it into a unified theory.

There is a great deal of pride that I feel as Ben discovers these cosmic truths on his own. Read the rest of this entry

But… But… RUSSIA!!!!!!!



SEGMENT – BUT… BUT… RUSSIA!!!!!! (00:00)

For pretty much most of my life, certainly the first thirty years of it, the Soviets, er, Russians, were the Evil Empire. In Kindergarten I did Duck and Cover drills at Ashley Elementary School in Denver. As a boy I listened to my Dad explain to me that Barry Goldwater would have defeated the Russians. As a teenager I watched the Soviets invade Afghanistan. In Junior High I was appalled when Ford announced that the Poles did not consider themselves dominated by the Soviets. In High School I listened as Reagan declared the Soviets “The Evil Empire.” And then I went to sea, putting my own right index finger on “the button” of nuclear deterrence.

Get what I’m saying? I’m the hawk here. I hated the Soviets from the day was was born. I’m the guy who would – all over again – go back to sea to wait for the law to be signed outlawing Russia, followed by the command to bomb them back to the Stone Age in five minutes.

I don’t trust Putin or the neo-Stalinists. I don’t believe them when they say they want peace and prosperity. I’ve never trusted them. And I never will.

And for all of that, I still cannot believe the way this country is going into full 400Hz flop and twitch over $150,000 worth of idiotic Facebook ads.

Facebook ads people… Quick – don’t think about it… name five people you personally know who actually click on Facebook ads…

EEEEEERRRRNNNNTTTT. Times up!


SEGMENT – BOWE GOES FREE? (28:28)

The news that ex-Sgt Bowe Bergdahl will serve no prison time for his desertion has the nation and social media abuzz. I’m not in any way, shape or form surprised that he got no prison time. Why? Because the 6th Amendment still applies to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And the Commander in Chief still doesn’t understand that.

Now matter how many people scream and yell that “Since when does deserting your post in war time not require the firing squad?” it doesn’t change the facts. First, we don’t shoot – or at least very rarely – shoot people for desertion in the face of the enemy. Second, you can’t have the Commander in Chief out screeching about how justice for an accused but not convicted (or at that point even charged) soldier should be treated. It taints the presumption of innocence, and it makes it impossible to get a fair trial or sentence.

So you can be mad if you want. But be mad at those who ignore the Constitution, which still applies to a deserter. 


SEGMENT – WHY I AM NOT A LIBERTARIAN (49:18)

For years I’ve been asked over and again why I am not a member of the Libertarian Party. For most of those years, my answer was milquetoast, mainly dealing with the LP’s position on drugs and in the Ron Paul era it’s position on isolationism. But in truth, I am not a hard-line anti-marijuana guy, although I would never use it myself. And while I am not an isolationist, I think that there is need for a national discussion and much more congressional debate about our military involvement overseas.

So imagine my surprise when I was doing my Torah Study this week, and I found the answer as to why I am not a Libertarian. Mostly, it’s because the Libertarians themselves are not able to truly define what it is that they believe, and when they do, it is not compatible with my faith…


 

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