Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Ways of Thinking: Afghanistan

And, the drums of war go on. The mantra-call is, as it always is, that we must be victorious -- winning is everything. American superiority is more important than the lives of those we put in so much jeopardy and who need to be made whole. To accomplish victory, President Obama is increasing troop strength from 36, 000 to 53,000, an increase of 17,000, with a plan that the troop surge will eventually reach 30,000.

It seems to me, without knowing the size of the Taliban forces or the size of the al-Queda insurgency, and without doing a detailed analysis as a commandant might do, but just a gut feeling, this is not nearly enough troops from either our current hard power strategy, or with a strategy utilizing specialized troops within a soft power paradigm.

Kim Sengupta of reports: “Some NATO allies believe, however, that going for the military option would be ultimately fruitless. ‘Even 140,000 would not be enough to get victory,’ a senior European diplomat said. ‘What we need is a new strategy, without so much emphasis on war fighting.”’

In an article for Newsweek, Winning In Afghanistan, Andrew J. Bacevich writes, “All this means that the proper U.S. priority for Afghanistan should be not to try harder but to change course. The war in Afghanistan (like the Iraq War) won't be won militarily. It can be settled -- however imperfectly -- only through politics.”

My expectation of President Obama is that he will strive to understand the inviability of the military option, and that any increase in conventional combat forces should only be a temporary increase. My hope is that it is only one of the ways of reducing troops in Iraq by diverting them to Afghanistan, where in the short term the increasing need of combat forces, within the current strategy, seems to be urgent in consideration of a “resurgent Taliban … and a deteriorating security situation.”

My hoped for expectation is based on President Obama’s foreign policy rhetoric of the universal need for diplomacy and negotiation, with an emphasis on soft power, listening, and creating understanding between all sides of a conflict: Afghan and Pakistani, tribes and warlords. (Pakistan is important because of its harboring of the Taliban and al-Queda inside of their borders; and its vulnerability of becoming a failed state; a state who has nuclear capabilities puts the entire region at risk.) Therefore, if President Obama is utilizing the military for the long term in its current paradigm and within its current mission it would be a contradiction to his stated universal foreign policy view.

I feel it is important to note that the strategy and tactics for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Taliban should be separated from the strategy and tactics in dealing with al-Queda, despite that the Taliban is pro al-Queda. The al-Queda tactic requires eliminating a threat of terrorism, which in some cases may go beyond arresting and detaining terrorist, but even causing their very destruction. There may be no other choice when in view that it is morally appropriate to kill in ones own self-defense, in this case our national self-defense. It is, after all, al-Queda who was responsible for 9/11, albeit harbored by the Taliban.

It should be clear by now that a military solution is not the answer to the Afghanistan-Pakistan problem. A military solution was not the answer, arguably, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and it won’t be in Afghanistan, nor will it be a viable solution to the Pakistan question. (It worked in the Gulf War’s Dessert Shield because the coalition of nations used the principle of overwhelming force against a very weak and somewhat rag-tail military force in conventional military style in the open dessert.)

A military solution did not work for the Soviets in their Afghanistan War, either. As it turned out Afghanistan in ways became the Soviet’s Vietnam. It could be another Vietnam for America, also, if we continue with increasing troop strength under current strategy to solve what is essentially not a military problem. It is rather one of diplomacy, and soft power in which a well-developed well-honed human touch would be focused at winning hearts and minds, looking at the long term and not short term, and developing trust over time. This is the change in strategy that is desperately needed.

In The Things We Need to Do Now, Andrew J. Bacevich writes, “Sending more troops to the region, as incoming president Barack Obama and others have suggested we should, will only turn Operation Enduring Freedom into Operation Enduring Obligation. Afghanistan will be a sinkhole, consuming resources neither the U.S. military nor the U.S. government can afford to waste.”

In the Andrew J. Bacevich article for Newsweek, Winning In Afghanistan, he additionally writes, “The new U.S. president needs to realize that America's real political objective in Afghanistan is actually quite modest: to ensure that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda can't use it as a safe haven for launching attacks against the West. Accomplishing that won't require creating a modern, cohesive nation-state. U.S. officials tend to assume that power in Afghanistan ought to be exercised from Kabul. Yet the real influence in Afghanistan has traditionally rested with tribal leaders and warlords. Rather than challenge that tradition, Washington should work with it. Offered the right incentives, warlords can accomplish U.S. objectives more effectively and more cheaply than Western combat battalions. The basis of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan should therefore become decentralization and outsourcing, offering cash and other emoluments to local leaders.”

In the Vietnam War, the Vietcong, a guerrilla force using the tactic of asymmetric warfare, utilizing Laos and Cambodia’s “Ho Chi Minh Trail” as a supply route to South Vietnam, escaping to Laos and Cambodia for retreat and cover, while at the same time winning the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese gained tactical advantage over U.S., ARVN, and other multi-national forces. Eventually, as their subversive tactics became increasingly successful, the Vietcong were reinforced by huge numbers of North Vietnamese troops, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), and in the end accomplished their mission of a unified Vietnam. It was the unwavering mindset of the U.S. in using combat forces with conventional strategies and tactics that lead to our in-country demise.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban and warlords are using asymmetric warfare, utilizing the mountain passages from Pakistan as a route for supplies and equipment, escaping to Pakistan for retreat and cover, and apparently are winning the hearts and minds of Afghans, particularly those in the south. Pakistan as a failed state could conceivably be overtaken by the Pakistan Taliban, who do have the support of many Pakistanis, increase sizably in force, reinforce the Afghan Taliban and in the end accomplish their mission of a unified Islamic republic. -- the unwavering mindset of the U.S. of using combat forces in conventional strategies and tactics in Afghanistan or Pakistan against the Taliban will eventually lead to our in-country demise, as it did in Vietnam.

Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq (up to the more recent troop surge) were being fought with a conventional military mindset and strategy. The turnabout in Iraq, under the command of General Petraeus, Commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq, came not with a troop surge incorporating the same strategy, but when a different strategy was employed.

The Vietnam-French experience as with the Afghanistan-Soviet experience, have provided the citizens of those countries with many years of coping and fighting against another countries interference in their affairs, and with their military powers: soldiers, machines of war, chaos, destruction, debilitating long term health issues, death, and all of the other machinations of warfare. In both cases the countries inhabitants, the tribes, the villages, hamlets and all those folks who lived in those hooches remained loyal to their country who along with the Vietcong, or its base organization the Việt Minh, and in the case of the Afghani Taliban in their conflict with the Soviets, were successful in expelling their countries invaders.

There should be no question that a change in strategy, as called for by our NATO allies, Andrew J. Bacevich, et al, is very clearly needed. That change in strategy must include a high emphasis on soft power.

The soft power paradigm of which I speak includes diplomacy and negotiation, of course, but also much more than can be condensed and explained here. However, there is no-one that I know who has, by example, done more to show how viable soft power alternatives can work to our advantage: Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute are exemplary of the soft power America must adopt; it, along with hard power, which may be here-and-there needed, could even become the new military paradigm. The paradigm includes a matrix of asymmetrical strategies put in proper balance with hard and soft power options. Evidence suggests that the U.S. Military is evolving in that direction.

Greg Mortenson has spoken to thousands of U.S. university and high school students about his bestselling “Three Cups of Tea,” the inspirational story of his work building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan to “promote peace, one school at a time.” Mortenson has been invited to confer with the office of Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has also lectured at Annapolis, West Point, and the Air Force Academy.

Three Cups of Tea is now recommended reading for officers enrolled in graduate-level counterterrorism courses in the Army, Navy, and Marines.

Learning how to work in the Afghan and Pakistani culture, Greg has built schools for girls. Greg Mortenson survived an eight day armed kidnapping by the Taliban, escaped a 2003 firefight with feuding Afghan warlords, and overcame two fatwa’s from enraged Islamic mullahs over the educating of girls. His work demonstrates his belief that the war on terrorism is one of hearts and minds, not bullets and bombs, and that it can be won by providing young people with a balanced education. Particularly girls: “Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in cities. But the girls stay home, become leaders in the community and pass on what they've learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls.” Greg Mortenson

Greg Mortenson said of the United States Afghan policy, “They’re all thinking firepower, and what we really need is brain power.” “It’s education that will determine if the next generation (in Pakistan and Afghanistan) is educated, or illiterate fighters. The stakes could not be higher.”

Greg Mortenson -- who served as an Army medic from 1975 to 1977 -- was asked to share his views about Pakistan and Afghanistan with General David Petraeus, whose focus on building relationships with local communities dovetails that of the Central Asia Institute.

"When Gen. Petraeus read Three Cups of Tea," Mortenson says, "he sent me an e-mail with three bullet points of what he'd gleaned from the book: Build relationships, listen more, and have more humility and respect.”

A soft power focus, not a model that is designed to brainwash or to Americanize or to change who a community of people are culturally, will uplift those communities and make them whole without putting them unnecessarily in jeopardy.

Soft power, in my mind, is the essence of upholding what are American ideals.

Friday, February 20, 2009

“They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill”


This racially charged cartoon was published in the New York Post on Wednesday, February 18th.

In a statement, Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan said: "The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy.”

Please tell me, is there anyone who can explain to me what the depiction of a police officer shooting and killing a monkey (sorry! Chimpanzee) has to do with an economic stimulus bill? Please clarify for me the “clear parody” of the current news event of the shooting of a violent chimpanzee to an economy in distress? Without any other explanation of its intent, which a cartoon should not need -- it should be self-explanatory in-and-of itself -- please tell me how this depiction mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy?

Lola Adesioye of The Guardian at wrote, “This is where Delonas's sketch becomes problematic. If you were one of the many people in New York or elsewhere who hadn't heard about Travis the chimp, the sketch simply should not really have made much sense when you looked at it. But instead, when stripped of its local context, the image still contains a great deal of meaning – very ugly, racist and violent meaning.”

Lola continues: “It's hard to believe that this cartoon was not created to be deliberately ambiguous. Virtually everything in it – from the chimpanzee to the policemen to the random "beware of dog" sign – is a double entendre. The heading, which reads "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," refers to a single person. Considering that most people associate President Barack Obama, not Nancy Pelosi or Congress, with the writing of the bill, it is not far-fetched to think that most would think that the chimpanzee is a caricature of the first African-American president. That is highly offensive, especially considering the long history of dehumanising black people by associating them with monkeys.”

It’s hard for me to believe, also, Lola, for it is clear to me that the related news event here is the comparative racist stereotype of blacks looking like monkeys with Obama, an African-American, which has everything to do with the economic stimulus bill, since it was his legislative initiative that drove the economic stimulus bill to fruition.

The New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch who imported the sensationalist "tabloid journalism" style of his British tabloid papers. Because of this, the good news is that it is not a paper taken very seriously for its news content.

Nevertheless, the cartoon to me is and was intended to be racist with very disturbing overtones.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Ways of Thinking: Post-partisanship

George W. Bush did not show partisanship in welcoming president-elect Obama to the White House. By all accounts President Bush was hospitable, willing to help the new president in any way he could. A White House spokesman said that their meeting was “good, constructive, relaxed and friendly." As private citizen George W. Bush he wished his successor much success.

On the other hand, during the debate over the economic stimulus package, President Obama’s appeal for bipartisanship fell on democrat and republican deaf ears. Democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi said, “Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election,” which was unashamedly partisan, completely unacceptable, lacked civility, and certainly was not a demonstration that she was going to support the President’s call for bipartisanship. Democrats followed the house leadership by shutting out the Republicans from participation in writing the initial legislation. Republicans responded in kind by showing their non-support and partisanship with a unanimous nay vote on the proposed legislation.

Congress needs an education on the means and methods of bipartisanship. That education will be difficult since they do not have the mindset or the even the will to earnestly try to embrace the concept of shared accomplishment; one side wins and the other loses, one side or the other must always be triumphant, never a win-win outcome of collaboration.

There is no political advantage in shared accomplishment, and therefore, much to the chagrin of President Obama, it may not ever be embraced by a congressional majority to ever be viable without a good deal of persistent leadership, follow-through, and a great deal of a hands-on, in your shirt sleeves, showing by example on how it should be done.

As Kevin Hassett stated in his commentary posted at, “It is no coincidence that the tone of our government has degenerated at the same time as its performance. One could randomly select any corner of government today and find ample room for improvement, to say the least. There is nowhere an individual foolish enough, or an addict delirious enough, to design a government that works the way ours does.”

In George W Bush’s first inaugural address he expressed that “Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.”

Post-partisanship, the idea that politics can rise above partisanship, has been called for by Presidents from Nixon to Obama, and by many states governors and mayors. By Schwarzenegger who said, “All of our most deeply held dreams and aspirations require us to build on our common bonds rather than keep resorting to the tired battle cries of partisan politics that divides and demoralizes us.”; and by Bloomberg who said, “We do not have to settle for the same old politics … a fundamentally different way of behaving—one built on cooperation and collaboration.”

The problem of partisanship seems to lie not in the leadership of the executive branch of government, but very clearly in the leadership, and rank and file, of Congress. Congress in turn is a mirror of society who themselves do not embrace the concept of shared accomplishment. One side must always win; one side or the other must always be triumphant.

This is clearly observable in American society in what entertains us, and in our public interactions with each other: in sports one side must win, and if there so happens to be a brawl, well that’s just value added; in some game shows and reality shows where one side is triumphant, the loser is then summarily dismissed in an atmosphere where incivility and put-downs are commonplace; in the raucous incivility of talk-show hosts; in the raucous incivility prevalent in much of American humor and comedy. We seem to be in so many ways raucously uncivil, schadenfreude-ingly joyful in the put-down, and to Americans winning is everything.

As Americans we must first correct our bad, unacceptable, uncivil behavior so that in the discourse of future generations who seek political office they will embrace the concept of shared accomplishment, the treatment of others with civility, and in the spirit of post-partisanship, cooperation and collaboration.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama's Wealth Destruction

In regard to Obama's Wealth Destruction by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

I have very profound annoyance and contemptuousness toward all those who are responsible for this economic crisis, which has turned out to be a national emergency.

I am tired of folks ranting about Obama; I am tired of the Lew Rockwells, and Ron Pauls; I am tired of Libertarian philosophy, Left and Right, Democratics and Republicans; I am tired of socialism accusations and that it will lead to communism, free markets and capitalism, pork and earmarks; I am tired of Keynesianism; I am tired of Suze Orman, Rush Limbaugh, Jay Severin, Sean Hannity and whoever else there may be; and, I am tired of reporters, CCN, ABC, NBC, and CBS news outlets, and all of the media pundits. And, I am tired of the bipartisan-partisan rhetoric, and the generational theft rhetoric, as well. I am tired of all the government and political inertness and their propensity to place blame. Particularly when the blame is placed on people who can least defend themselves.

I don’t care if any of the Auto Makers declare bankruptcy; I don’t care if banks go belly-up; I don’t care if Wall Street goes belly-up; I don’t care if some fat cat loses all he or she has; I don’t care about the creation of wealth; I don’t care about troubled/toxic assets – if the folks owning them lose their shirt, so be it, I can only say they deserve it.

Folks at the bottom of the hierarchy of need pyramid will survive with only life’s necessities because of their dependence on community, and each other, that is a way of life for them. The folks at the narrow top of that pyramid will not because their life is based on wealth, survival based on only how much money or assets they have, they have no sense of community, and only care about themselves.

We should not bailout any of these nincompoops at the top.

I only care about these things to the extent that it affects or harms the folks on Main Street and of the urban and rural ghettos, and I understand that failures at the top will affect and harm Main Street and the urban and rural ghettos in many ways; that’s the tragedy in this quagmire. The ranting by Suze Orman, Rush Limbaugh, Jay Severin, Sean Hannity and et al does not benefit anyone; they only serve their own self-interest.

What I do care about is that human beings are treated fairly, that they are not exploited, and that they have the necessities in life: food, shelter, and clothing. That’s my bottom line. Except for President Obama, I certainly don’t see sufficient concern, on the part of many Americans, or those who have wealth, or on the part of politicians, government, or economist, for the welfare of those at the bottom of the pyramid. Nor do I see this concern in the rude, disrespectful, uncivil, hyperbolic rhetoric of Limbaugh, Severin, Hannity, et al. There is not adequate reporting or media coverage directed at the people to whom this economic crisis is hurting the most; and of who, by the way, are the way out of this mess.

I have trouble restraining my expression of indignation of those folks who are concerned about the money that may be spent in the stimulus package that may help those people of whom I speak; at those with wealth, those in government, and economist, who are concerned over the debt it creates, when no one was concerned about the ever increasing debt this country has accumulated, not until now, and seemingly only with this stimulus. No one was concerned about the debt created to finance a war in Iraq – as of today it is almost $600B. Politicians were uptight, and Senator McCain even suspended his campaign for president to return to the Senate in urgency to make sure our country bailed out Wall Street, to give his support for the TARP legislation. How come, after eight years during which the national debt has almost doubled, that they are so concerned with debt creation now? How come McCain and his peers don’t have the same sense of urgency now? Their national priorities are out of whack!

It is very simple: spending done by corporations, entrepreneurs, or even mom and pop enterprises to create goods and services are superfluous if individuals – the folks on Main Street and urban and rural ghettos – do not have the disposable income to spend on those goods and services; what good is credit if no one can attain it, or home mortgages if no one can purchase a home or maintain their existing mortgage -- even a roll of toilet paper is useless if no one has the money to purchase it. Who cares about Wealth Destruction when there is no concern for working men and women at the bottom; wealth, at the end of the day, is created by Main Street. The Wealth Destruction of concern is the destruction of wealth at the top; they create wealth for the sake of wealth. They have been inculcated with “trickle-down” theory. To me that sort of thinking is absurd and nauseating.

Bastiat's parable, and Henry Hazlitt’s description in his book “Economics in One Lesson,” of the broken window is a story of economics focused on what happens on Main Street and not on Wall Street, albeit -- I do understand! -- that will trickle-up to Wall Street eventually.

“Trickle-down” economic theory and laissez faire free markets just do not work.

We are stuck with the here and now of today, in our zeitgeist. There may very well be better economic, governmental, and societal ways, such as libertarianism, but we cannot stop with what we have and turn to something else on a dime. It doesn’t work that way. It can work over time, we can nurture it and see to its evolution, but this is not the time to do that.

I realize this may seem by some to be simplistic, a lack of sophistication, especially those in finance or economics; but to me it is simply fact.

Paradoxically, it seems we have never had so much to lose, and for which we have never had so much hope.

However, the broken window thesis and metaphor of James Q. Wilson and George Kelling is philosophically in play here: "One unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing."

Needless to say, I believe, if there is not some improvement, and it continues to worsen over time, Main Street and the urban and rural ghettos are going to revolt. Yes, there will be anarchy. When President Obama states that things could get worse, this among other contingencies is a part of which he speaks.

The ideology of the Fred Thompson's of this world got us into this mess in the first place. He was not complaining about the mounting debt of the last eight years of George W. Bush. Cutting taxes for the wealthy and borrowing more than we could afford to fund war; he was not concerned about fiat dollars then was he? The severity of the ideological differences between the two parties conflated with this unacceptable partisanship is ruining our country.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The De Facto Fallacies of Capitalism, Freedom, Free Markets and the State of the Union

(In response to Anonymous comment of my last post)

I have read Ludwig von Mises’s “Human Action”, Murry Rothbard’s “For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto,” Henry Hazlett’s “Economics in One Lesson,” and, Fredric Bastiat’s “The Law.” So I am familiar with the Misesian, Rothbardian, Galambosian, and libertarian points of view.

In Fredric Bastiat’s “The Law: Victims of Lawful Plunder,” i.e. plunder by the State, certainly is equally matched by plunder by capitalist in a free market. Maybe not by force, but thru misfeasance, greed, obfuscation, lies, and deceit. Although they may not be coercers in the traditional sense of that word, their actions certainly comprise wrongdoing, including exploitation of those who may be naïve or who are simply followers, and/or do not have the where-with-all to make intelligent economic decisions.

When you say, “Ayn Rand simply tried to show how the state destroys,” well, recent revelations show that the Ayn Rands operating in a completely ungoverned free market have an ugly head of avarice, and have an unacceptable perception that they are a privileged societal class, along with the far right, conservative, and libertarian ideology that is completely, one might say, unethical and immoral. It is also true that the blame cannot be assessed to any one group: government – the State, free market capitalist – “Wall Street,” and Americans – “Main Street,” all can take a portion of blame. It is, however, “Wall Street” and the State who must take the brunt of the blame.


I agree that the common understanding/dictionary definition of capitalism is a narrow definition; however, the concept that “… capitalism is the system that can best bring about a societal condition that results when everyone is in control of his/her property,” is a profound concept that most will not be able to grasp. It is not the economic system, not capitalism with which I have a problem; it is the capitalist operating in a free market without regulations or boundaries. Our free market is analogous to a highway, road, street, or alley, without caution or warning signs, without traffic signals, without speed limits, with vehicles on that highway, road, street, or alley speeding along without turn signals or stop lights, completely free to drive in any direction they wish or to make any turns they wish to make, not even feeling it’s necessary to stay on the pavement, thinking it’s alright to drive over someone’s front lawn, and contriving rules of the road as they go along without consideration of anyone else but themselves. In our contemporary world I don’t know how this can be addressed without laws, regulation, and oversight.


“Freedom exists when every person is 100%in control of 100% of his/her property 100% of the time. Property consists of person’s ideas thoughts and actions, tangible goods and ones skin and every thing under it.”

The latter is a great definition. I am in full agreement with it, but how do we get there? How do you have 100% freedom without making it unlawful to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater?

As I have said on previous occasions, I get a big kick out of all these folks, like Stephen Moore, who do not give or promote real viable remedies. All they do, at least from what I have read, is to report, to analyze, to be critical, or to pedagogically and pedantically inform us of their ideology: they report to us what has happened to get us where we are; they report the ins-and-outs of libertarianism/conservatism; they report the ills of socialism/to its extreme communism, or, in this case, promote the ideology of an Ayn Rand as it pertains to individual rights being supreme without concern or compassion toward others, and full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism. Or we have the political commentators of the world like Rush Limbaugh et al who add nothing to the solution but offer hyperbolic partisan critique. I don’t have a sense that there is enough collectively passionate American will that can produce the political will or authentic political bipartisanship needed to lead us out of this mess.

Other than for-pay lectures, books, and CD’s, what human action, organization, viable steps or processes, or leadership in promoting this freedom, advancing this nuance of capitalism, or the ideology of Galambos, his heirs, or his followers, has been taken? For almost five decades, what examples, after all it was 1961 when Galambos established his Free Enterprise Institute, can anyone provide?

In your quote, “The means of adjudicating and settling disputes and protecting property can only come about through the market place,” Murry Rothbard or Galombosian market place “means” sound good and even plausible, but the adjudication of disputes and the protection of property can never be achieved as long as we have a market place obsessed with greed and of a market place conducting misfeasance for the gain of excessive profit and bonuses. The market place/free market simply never can be trusted to any level of altruism that would be necessary for authentic justice to take place.

To think the government has all the answers is as wrong as thinking that an Ayn Rand or “Wall Street” has all the answers. Each and every American must understand that we are America’s Board of Trustees/Governors, and together we must take actions that will solve this economic quagmire. As praxeology dictates, all of the various entities of human action must fit together in concatenation within heterarchial orders of organization and within very complex interrelationships evolving in such a way as to hard wire solutions in order for us to get out of this economic conundrum.

I am extremely disappointed with our system of economics, government, justice, education, our societal structure, the way American culture is evolving and the state of corporate culture in general, the pomp of the academic community, the conduct of media and entertainment, and so disappointed in Americans and in myself, that I do not have any confidence that we will come out of this in any satisfactory and viable way.

America has come a long way in so many ways, but America has deep systemic problems, much more than meets-the- eye, much greater than is at first apparent. I believe that we are at the brink of critical mass that could be beneficial or it could mean an American holocaust.

When Americans wake up from their slumber, another American revolution, a situation of unrest with American government just like that which was stewing and increasingly growing during the Vietnam zeitgeist, might be silently in the making. As this economic and social problem grows, and worsens, I believe it just might happen. It’s hard for me to believe that we have such a docile America that exists today; it cannot last too long without “rank and file” action by the American people.

The time is coming to take some form of non-violent action to the streets to make our government listen. I believe Obama is listening and is trying, and I suppose I am trying to predict the winner of a ball game after only one or two innings of play, but I do not think any partisan branch of Congress is listening.

In closing, I too would like to leave with this quote from the book "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx: "Owners of capital [capitalist] will stimulate the working class to buy more and more expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take on more and more expensive debt, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to the bankruptcy of all banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism."

It is exactly and precisely our State of the Union.

Related essay: Greed has Destroyed Economies Worldwide