I've been thinking about our soldiers in Afghanistan, lately. It seems our military has made some impressive progress in their conflict with the Taliban, a direct result evidently of an increase in night raids. The Taliban has been seriously affected, and not surprisingly. While they believe themselves warriors of Allah, they still have to sleep. It's comparatively easy to capture or kill Taliban while they are dreaming of those carnal pleasures Allah is preparing for them in heaven, as payment for their brutality here on Earth (actually, as they live exceedingly violent lives, no doubt their dreams are equally violent,) it's not so easy to kill or capture them when they are pointing AK-47's at you. Everybody has to sleep.
I do admit, it makes me uneasy that my military is training men this way. I recognize it is simply a tactic of war, inevitable in the face of an enemy as wily and vicious as the Taliban. What I'm concerned about is, what are these men going to do when they return home? The ability to pull bad asses out of their beds is a very bad ass skill, very impressive, but not very useful, stateside, in the context of the Constitution. It's hard to imagine what is going to fill the gap left in the absence of that particular adrenal rush.
Some of these men are likely to become mercenaries. Such a skill could prove very lucrative, in resource-rich third-world countries, in this age of global resource constraints. Not all will become global mercenaries. I'd like to put them all to work in a garden, on a real farm. They can go to work growing and raising food for those poor we are yanking the rug out from under. Somehow I expect they will want something more vigorous and manly than that(though I can assure you it is a good deal more vigorous and manly than you might think.)
Consider Grover Norquist, the monk-like chairman of Americans For Tax Reform, the samurai-like enforcer of his no-new-tax pledge, preying upon the self-interest of GOP legislators, threatening to end their careers should they vote for any tax increase of any kind, ever. It is that pledge that rests at the center of the impasse that is the budget debate, threatening the stability of the global economy. Most Americans at this point are willing to reduce the deficit and the debt, and they are likely to accept cuts, but cuts in domestic spending it seems are the only thing the GOP is willing to accept.
At this point, I'd support a return to a 91% top tax bracket, for all income above one million dollars, for all the moral rectitude the uber-rich have shown in the discussion about the future of this Republic. 91%, and seriously limit the scope of Government, until we pay off the debt. After that, we can reduce taxes in every way for everybody. What, you don't like it? Can't live on $1,000,000+ a year? Fine, get the fuck out of America. A great many Americans have lived very fine lives, as expatriates. You are very clever, if you make that much money. I'm sure you'll make billions.
I'd settle for a considerably more modest increase in taxes for the uber-rich. Some sign that you are not just invested in taking over the world.
There was a bomb threat at the offices of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, this week. My attitude toward bombs is, those who use them are potential dominators, no matter what they say about themselves. Counter-productive in every way as a political statement, indiscriminate, and perpetuating of the very ugliness one claims to be fighting against. Instead, I'm thinking, roofing Black Jack (or tar sands) and a bag of chicken feathers from a Tyson slaughterhouse. Leave him squawking in a public place, and make sure the public can capture the picture. Send the message that you can't wage wars and build infrastructure and expect our children and grand children to pay for it; you can't dismantle the safety net for people just to hand that money to the uber-rich, in the form of safety nets for corporations, banks and executives; you can't continue to allow Wall Street and the Fed to dictate the direction of America.
My feeling about this increasing gap between those who benefit most by the economy, and everybody else, is that the uber-rich recognize on some level, humanity is on the path of oblivion, and all hell at some point is likely to break forth; they are hedging their bets, building their fortress, and America as a bastion of freedom and justice and a model of graceful entry into the Age of scarce fossil fuels, is not necessarily part of that vision. After all, they likely believe this is simply a material universe, therefore without meaning; or they believe themselves the arbiters of God's will; each justifying whatever they do, choosing primarily out of self-interest. That same self-interest trickling down infecting America, pervasively. Dooming it, perhaps.
Actually, guys, I don't really recommend night raids pulling people out of their beds. It's not a skill with long-term prospects. I'd prefer if you simply took responsibility for the women and children you know, the community you live in and the Earth. Look to plants for healing. Think not that they will pacify you, but become your allies, on the path of the true warrior, on your path toward freedom. You are a divine being, and justice is a good deal more mysterious and subtle than your commanders would have you believe. Serve that justice, and you will find, the answers you need on your path will be revealed to you.
Your Government is functionally bankrupt, and the economy has been handed to private parties of immense power, who do not have the best interest of America, or the Earth in mind. We are in this struggle together as Americans, as people; or we are in it for ourselves, to hell with everybody else, to hell with everything, let me get mine and keep it. I vote for sticking together in service. I vote for community sovereignty and peace. I vote for freedom from tyranny, of the military, industrial, financial, corporate, bureaucratic or cultural kind. I vote for responsibility. I vote for healing.
And saying so, of course, means Grover Norquist is a divine being. He is also a political operative with a sorcerer-like control over the consciousness of the GOP. Should you choose that path, do him no harm physically. Be respectful. He is a warrior. It is only his ego, and his reputation, you might aim to knock down a few pegs with an ol' fashioned tar and feathering. But be aware, your actions will be used by the Government to increase authoritarian control over Americans, supported by the gullible, fearful children of Empire.
*I hesitated for 36 hours, before publishing this piece. That was, until Majority Whip McCarthy and Representative West used a clip from the film The Town, to rally the GOP troops in the budget "battle", seemingly oblivious to their advocacy for the right to fuck people up, shoot them in the leg, and tell them if we see you around again we're going to kill you. Implying a threat of violence against at least half the nation - against elected representatives of the American people.