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Monday, May 23, 2011

America's Punic War

The three Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage lasted from 246 to 146 B.C.E., named for the Phoenician sea-going culture in contrast to the Latin land-bound one.  Among the lesser-known consequences is that during each war, especially the famous Second Punic War from 218 to 201 B.C.E. that included the strategies of Hannibal of Carthage and Scipio Africanus of Rome, citizen-soldiers left their farms to fight for their Republic   only to find them worthless upon their return, forcing the sale of family farms to large latifundias or losing domestic production to cheap imports.  Does this sound familiar?  American soldiers are returning to the civilian workplace, either with ten years of service only to be told they are over-qualified for the McJobs they need, or with medic skills but lacking certification or coursework to become a Registered Nurse (R.N.) and without the living expenses stipend to use their G. I. Bill for school.

The unnecessary wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, avoidable if an elected President had allowed Osama bin Laden to be tried in the World Court or equivalent, have created what TIME magazine called the Decade of Hell and a lost generation.  At least the Romans won land and slaves; we fought both to prevent Saddam Hussein from flooding the market with cheap post-embargo oil and to control the Caspian Sea pipeline.  It's like watching the old DALLAS soap opera story arch when gasoline was cheap, so while Patrick Duffy's Bobby Ewing was lobbying for a legal price floor on oil, Larry Hagman's J.R. Ewing was funding mercenaries to stir up Middle East mayhem to boost the oil market.  At least J.R. suffered for his crimes; how have the Bushes or the Cheneys or the Rumsfelds been punished, with book deals and speaking tours? Let's send them free vacation packages to Germany and see what happens; they know about war criminals.

Try this for stimulus; every U.S. service member who saw duty in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11 gets a $250/week tax-free stipend as a $13,000 gift from America in accordance with IRS laws, while keeping existing benefits.  Combine this with a $1/year rise in the minimum wage to reach its $10 1968-equivalent then its $15 productivity-equivalent and we can counter the current top-heavy inflation of CEO income and real estate bubbles.  Finally make the following free and Sean Hannity's nightmare will become true:  education, healthcare, and mass transit.  Bring back 1986 Reagan-style amnesty to 12M+ undocumented workers so they can unionize and erase its underground economy while exposing convicted felons for deportation.  Legalize naturally occurring drugs as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) as if they were tobacco or alcohol and the drug war stops its death count.  It's like Canadian Leonard Cohen sings, ""Democracy is coming to the U.S.A."

Monday, May 2, 2011

So It Ends, for You-Know-Who

My Twitter feeds just exploded; wow!
My question now is, why did the late Bhutto say Osama bin Laden was assassinate long ago?
What about the theory that OBL/UBL was killed in bombings of late 2001?

Include song here, whether "It's Not Easy" or "I'm Proud to Be An American?

www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-dead ["Osama Bin Laden Dead"]