Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Iraq War is the right war at the right time in the right place, a 5 part essay

The truth about the War in Iraq must now be told. I’m ready to tell it.


In order to help you, I have highlighted in Red all words which are my opinion alone.  The rest comes from objective research and understanding.  I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, War Never Solved Anything. It's just not true. It’s so much more complex then that.


I ask that you read all 5 parts of this really long piece.  Argue if you want to about what I send as I send it, but keep the final arguments (Iraqi war, beneficial or not?) until the full panoply is set forth. I have always been told that liberals were smarter than the rest of us, and that they were certainly more open-minded than right-wingers, so, here’s the question:  Are YOU?  To whet your appetite just a bit, Clinton comes out much better in the final analysis (much to my chagrin and surprise), Reagan and Bush 1 much worse.  This was interesting research for me too.  It opened my eyes.  This war is essential.


I was going to post this as one piece but it’s too much, even for me.  So, I’ll post it a chunk at a time.  


This must of necessity be long, arduous and comprehensive.  There are no sound bites in history.  There is only a slog forward thru the facts.  But, like Santayana said, if we don’t remember and consider history we are condemned to repeat it.  So let’s take a look.


If you choose NOT to read this in its entirety you have no right to comment or disagree with the conclusions made.  Oh, you have a right, that’s constitutional, but we have a right to discount what you say because you have chosen to be just partisan, ignorant and uninformed.  What follows a rehearsal of the facts leading up to the Iraq War that make it the essential conflict of our day.  My opinions are in RED.


Iraq has been compared to WWII.  While for the most part that doesn’t hold up, there are some similarities:


World War I’s outcome propagated the roots and internal Nazi justifications for WWII.  It took a long time to develop.  1918-1940.  Hitler rose steadily and engaged willing participants in Italy and Japan.  The Axis.  He kept poking at the free world and waited to see what they would do.  Mostly they did nothing.   So he continued to poke. Eventually when the world had enough and was threatened they took Hitler and allies on.  Some on Nazi turf, some on turf occupied by or contested by the enemy. 


Japan was different in a way.


Even though Iwo Jima didn’t attack the USA at Pearl Harbor, even though the Ogasuwara Islands of which Iwo Jima was a part was originally settled by Americans (claimed later by Japan), we used that Island a few others to establish a beachhead for victory in the Pacific.  Iraq is that, a beachhead.  Afghanistan was conquered but made a poor beachhead.  The leader of Iraq was a potential ally of an enemy that attacked us.  He was already an unvanquished enemy of the US.  He certainly wasn’t a friend.  Iraq was a better beachhead to establish what will be a very long long occupation like was in Okinawa.  There was also this long held fear that he may have had WMD’s.  Democrats and Republicans since the end of the Gulf war were deeply concerned at this prospect. 


The beginning of what has now become a World War of which Iraq is a beachhead, on which we have chosen to do battle, starts at the birth of the State of Israel. It’s important to note that this war in Iraq is a part of the continuing troubled history of this country that in fact not really a country per se but is a fabrication of Great Britain.  See this review.


After Israel was founded as a country in 1948 in response to the UN's Balfor agreement of 1918 establishing the land of Israel, the end of WWII and the European refugees who needed a homeland. Arab nations surrounding the area of Palestine immediately began to venture to wipe Israel off the map.  That was the 1948-49 war.  The Arab countries were pushed back.  The 1956 war started by Arab countries attempted to take back ground, in fact they lost more.  Then There was the 6 day war.  Huge armies came against Israel.  10-1 odds.  It was 1967.  Again the outcome was huge losses of land after a stunning defeat of the Arabs.  The last major conflict and the one that began what we now are engaged in was the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and 1974.  This generated more losses of ground for the Arabs including the city of Jerusalem, The Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank and other areas.  The anger as a result of this war triggered the Oil Embargo of 1973 against the west.  The west, particularly the USA was a supporter financially, politically, and militarily of Israel.  The cut off of oil was designed not only to punish us, to exercise some muscle but to weaken us economically.  It worked.  We buckled.


The other overt conflict involving the USA and Israel and Arab nations was in 1982 in  Lebanon.  More on that later when I discuss the Reagan administration.


It became easy for the Arabian and other Middle Eastern countries (Iran) to hate us for our support of Israel.  The fact that during the Oil Embargo we took no direct action caused the Arab Countries to consider us weak.  This was during the Nixon Administration, Vietnam was a oozing sore, and no more Vietnams was the cry of the populace.  The opposition by war doves to anything like taking a stand military emboldened potential enemies.


When Nixon left office and Ford took over, nothing much happened.   This was a time of healing. The economy began to tank.  Ford lost popularity.  Our enemy was communism.  We were blinded to everything except stopping Russia, China, Cuba etc.  We didn’t consider the Arabian fundamentalist Islamic bloc a problem, yet.







Friday, November 11, 2005

11- 11 – 11 – 9-11

Peggy and I have both been under the weather just a bit. She more than me. I hate to see my sweetie sick. She'’s always the strong one. When she coughs from the bottom of her being and collapses in exhaustion I want to take it from her and put it on myself. Only Jesus can do that.

What I don'’t want is my iteration of whatever has had her down. I don'’t know if my distress” isn'’t just sympathetic. I do that. Last night I went to bed at 8pm and slept till 7am. I'’m better. She'’s the same. Getting older is heck. That'’s as much as anything why I have been less floriferous in writing lately. Add to that the fact that I am wrapping up a pretty busy and successful fall season in the nursery business.

My complaints are nothing compared to the families who will spend a quieter Thanksgiving than usual because one of theirs is serving in Iraq, has made the final sacrifice or is in a hospital recovering from wounds. Tens of thousands of our finest young men and women in their late teens even up to their 50'’s are part of this. I'’m so proud of them.

I thank almighty God for them. I thank God for every drop of blood they have shed in what is now a global struggle against an evil more powerful and dangerous than even Hitler was.

In most years on this day I reflect on the sacrifice of WWII veterans. Today we are engaged in a struggle that unless it'’s won here threatens our civilization and has the potential to propel us into a desperate deprived existence controlled by fear.

So while I take nothing away from the brave soldiers who preserved us from the Nazis, or fought communism in Korea and Vietnam, Today I take my hat off and put up my flag for those patriots who'’s blood preserves a world which will be worth living in, for my Grandchildren. And their children..........

God Bless ALL our Veterans.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Public Education is a Lost Cause - Let’s Kill It

There is very little left to argue for any continuation of our public education system. It is a broken machine that is beyond repair. The only argument made is that the teachers need the money so let’s not change it because it might cause teacher unemployment. That’s a lousy reason.

For 3 years I have predicted and hoped for the demise and rebuilding from the ground up of our terribly failed public education system nationwide.

I won’t point you to my writings per se, but they are available on the link to the right, particularly the Re-Vision Dakota link.

So this isn’t new. A news story I read today ticked me off.

We live in the Chicago area. CPS is one of the worst school systems in the nation; Expensive, incompetent, futile.

Now, the school board is basically deciding to turn over public education in whole or in part to Catholic Schools. Hooray. I’m not catholic but this is a good first step. Private schools work, pubic schools do not.

In short what is slowly being realized is:
Methodology for teaching up to grade 6 must be completely different than that from 7-12. Small form education works very well in elementary. Little classes, few students, home school enhanced. Churches do this well. Little cottage schools. But, no public education for young kids. This doesn’t mean you don’t financially help them, but you allow the best and brightest schools to prosper in teaching willing eager to learn children. There will be entrepreneurs to take the others. There will be a few recalcitrants who elect NOT to be in school. There are ways to deal with that short of dumping these dumbing down dunces into the pool. And special needs kids need to be dealt with in a special needs way.

It will become be a privilege, again, to be educated.

Then, when a person comes out of elementary, they go directly to a high school. Sometimes there will be a long bus ride. Sometimes it will mean being housed at the school in dorms.

Going to High School will be a privilege. There will be more than one option. Abolition of empire like mega school districts will be essential. Getting into a good high school will mean something. Excel or die will be the mission and purpose of these schools. You either will produce a good educational outcome or padlock your doors. The market will determine this.

My wife works in the school system. The other day a teacher was complaining that there is a national website, He wanted his name off the list. They refused. His complaint? People might say negative things about his performance. In fact some did. WAAAAA.

Bluntly, what we need is accountability. We need to quit protecting teachers. Let them compete for good jobs by merit. Pay them well if they are good. If they are lousy let them go to work at KFC. That’s the way the world works. Our teacher unions have become the worst form of educational disimprovement ever.

If they ever make me King, (and you need to hope they don’t) I will abolish the Department of Education, a Carter innovation that Reagan should have destroyed. I will put education in the hands of people who want to teach. Much will be private. Public education has failed. It’s our fault for not taking it back from the bad teachers and their paid protection racket.

By the way, stop please feeling sorry for the low pay teachers get. Do the math. Figure how many hours per YEAR a teacher works. Divide that into the amount they get paid. The national average is, you ready for this?, $31 per hour. Your state might be less or more. But a Master’s degreed Biologist, a physicist, most manufacturing jobs, in fact most jobs in America are paid less than that.

Don’t let the whine that they have to take work home at night and don’t get paid for that fool you. I have worked around the world and can tell you that anyone who gets paid any significant amount carries a briefcase home at night and does work at home. I’m not impressed. Don’t let the, “” we are required to attend meetings off hours and attend extracurricular events to keep our jobs”” tip you either. That happens all the time in corporate America. We all hate it but it’s part of the cost of having that job.

And, continuing education requirements. Every professional in America does this. It's just that most of us do it because we want to get better, keep current, get a better job or promotion. I taught Dale Carnegie long enough to see the motivated get better and grow.

Teachers of America, grow up, teach our Children and quit complaining.

If that's not ok with you, KFC is still hiring.

This is a mess. Let’s take back our Schools.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Blasphemy is safe as long as it's against Jesus

So, it's all right to make Light of Jesus in today's "CULTURE".

Taking a cue from Michael Jackson, we now have Jesus Juice Wine.

I'm supposed to be amused, I'm supposed to smile, I'm supposed to be tolerant.

Well I am NOT.

What happens if we come up with a line of Mohammad Muffins, Koran Kandy, Islamic icicles, Wahabee whiskey, Budda Beer, Jihad Gin, and............
The PC police would have a cat. You can't offend or make light of other religions. What about Jesus, I guess that doesn't count.

PS: Take a look at the label.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Find a Niche and Fill it, OR NOT!

OK, I admit it. What follows is an older (not yet really OLD) guy’s observation.

Coming up in business I heard hundreds of times that the secret to success was to find a niche and fill it. It would be said that there are opportunities all over the place and all you have to do is see a need and meet it.

On the surface that seems to be a really good piece of advice. And it’s true IF, (don’t you hate that there’s always an if), you have the right sized niche filler available to do the job.

I have known a lot of people who have seen a niche, tried to fill it in order to make a living. They have tried to fill it although they in themselves were the wrong sized niche filler. Square peg, round hole. So they took a shot, it flopped and they decided that doesn’t work.

It works. The key is discovering niches which:
  • Need Filling
  • You have the ability to fill
  • You have the desire to fill
  • You have the personality makeup to fill that particular niche
  • You are one of the few that know where the niche is

There may be other considerations, but I have known so many good men who are talented at doing one thing and then because they need the money or are frustrated at what they are doing will decide they want to try something way out of their realm.

In the end, they frustrate the people with the niche, they frustrate themselves, they frustrate the marketplace and ultimately they fail.

This is true in Nursery, Radio, Ministry and probably thousands of other niche activities. I have been both successful and failed bitterly at this. This is the voice of deep experience speaking.

So, find a niche YOU are designed to fill, and fill it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ken Goes Home

A Friend of Mine, Ken Schmierer, a schoolmate from Ellendale ND moved back to the hometown a few years ago. His rehersal of that day he moved back is really good reading:

Yes, we are quiet. When I moved back a few years ago I became aware of this very quickly. The Allied Van driver, a recent polish immigrant now living in Chicago, stopped to rest for a minute between moving large objects and over flowing boxes into my house. He looked quizzically at me and said, "I have never been any where so quiet in my life! Good god, it is Saturday afternoon and this is Main Street. How can it be so quiet?"

His question was rhetorical and I stopped a minute to ponder the reality of what he said. It was deafening quiet. No squeak, no leaf blower, no horn, not even a lone dog barking in the distance. It was as if all sound had been erased from this part of the globe. No din of automobile on the Interstate, no jet airliners over head, no police sirens or fire whistles. Eerily quiet only to be appreciated by some one from afar.

Now... I never stop to even think about this small blessing. I have become accustomed to it. It is like most of our blessings - taken for granted. We allow our complaints and our dissatisfaction with life and others to rule. It is a choice that most of us make and the sad thing is we don't have to make it. We can appreciate all of our small blessing is we so choose.

A Sad Death is Reported

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. - Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge financial settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on; if not, join the majority and do nothing