Sunday, July 17, 2011

4th of July

Well it is the 4th of July. A pretty quiet day here. Obviously we need to maintain security, provide some basic services as well as maintain C2, however on the whole it is as light of a day as possible.No beer or fireworks but there was a pretty good spread of food which I vigerously ate my way through. I've got to hand it to our cooks. They really cook the heck out of what they are given. Having eaten in facilities that are outstanding and others which are horrible I can attest to their knowhow and care of preparation being the difference between something that will (or in extreme cases won't) fill your stomach and fuel you for a few hours and an enjoyable meal that raises your spirits. Those guys work insane hours in probably the least sexy job in the military and deserve more credit than they get. Anyway today leaves me somewhat reflective about a lot of things. I am not going to wax about history or philosophy. Birthday's are a great time for an azmith check. Our country isn't in a substantially different place than a year ago. However we were not in a great place, by any measure, a year ago. The drama in the Eurozone has at a minimum shown a possible direction we could be headed in. We probably have a lot more electronic money floating around than a year ago, but some time back those numbers started sounding like made up ones little kids would use to taunt eachother on the playground so I stopped paying attention. We are getting out of Iraq which is a good thing. I truly hope the best for that nation but the next chapter is going to have to be written by it's own citizens. We are also, at least in theory starting to phase out of Afghanistan. Probably for the best. By this point, a decade into this war, if we have not achieved a desired endstate it is time to take a good hard look at how much more blood and money we are willing to put into meeting our goals. The general concensus is not very much. The hard truth is that the Afghan government is going to have to stand on it's own feet pretty soon. We seem to be involved in Libya and I am not at all sure what to say about that one. Is there a way we can keep a good record of ordinance that is about to go past it's lifespan and just measure that up with a list of countries what have pissed us off? Some logisticial could just allocate the 500 scuds which go bad in a few months toward whomever is currently pissing us off. It would be cheaper than using newer ordinance.

I am concerned about the problems on our border with Mexico. Also the rise of no knock warrants against average people going wrong bothers me a lot. There has got to be some way cops can retain that tool they genuinely need but use enough discretion that normal, fundamentally decent, folks aren't getting killed all the time. If this keeps up a lot of folks may start to reevaluate their stance on cops. Cops might find themselves aweful alone in a big scary world if this keeps up for much longer.

I do not think all is lost. America is a big, strong country with a lot of productive power. Sort of like an exceptionally big/ strong man in a fight, even when we are getting the worst of it a solid punch landed can totally change a fight. A governing body that decided to fuel growth and took some (I'm not talking fixing every entitlement problem over night) reasonable steps to get spending under control could change things in a hurry. That would let us stop borrowing like crazy and be on a more even trading field with China. Businesses having the confidence to spend their on hand cash and people being willing to expand their businesses or start new ventures would radically change the employment situation. These problems could be solidly in our rear view mirror in a few years. I know that outlook is a bit rosy but I want to break us all out of the doom and gloom group think. Anyway I hope you have a good Independence Day

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