Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Reflections of a Political Kind

Or is it a choice between what makes us humane vs. the "Dogs of War"*?

* I'm thinking more of Pink Floyd's "Dogs of War" lyrics than Shakespeare's (who said everything first).

I'm not going to list all the things that our new "President" has promised to do vs. what he has not done (first 100 days). The left/right/fake/real news media have done that to the point of making it all meaningless.

Nor am I going to pin all the blame on Trump or Bannon or Ryan or the Freedom Caucus for what is wrong with the direction we're moving in this country. I just want to discuss the issue behind the political agendas, and that is the U.S. becoming the "dogs of war" rather than what makes us humane.

An Aside:

Apparently to the "originalists", the US Constitution only allows the federal gov't to raise a standing "militia" and regulate commerce and does not allow the US to fund social programs, because it's not specifically spelled out in the Constitution. I don't want to argue for any interpretation of the US Constitution, except to say that like the Bible depending on how you're already committed, you can justify anything in the Constitution. That's why we have Supreme Court Justices, after all—to apply the test of constitutionality to laws passed by Congress. Originalists like Scalia and now his successor are like those Christians who insist that the Bible should be taken literally and that there is only one meaning to be had for any passage in the Bible. Originalists will insist that if social programs that would be set up to take care of those that are poor or ill or in need of some sort of assistance were Constitutional it would have been included in the Constitution. But lets not forget that the original first ten amendments to the Constitution were added because there were those who would not ratify the Constitution without them. They insisted that inalienable rights should be listed. The framers of the Constitution had thought that quite unnecessary, since they viewed the Constitution as flexible and meant to be a guide. But Originalists insist that, no, if it's not specifically written in the Constitution or provided for by an Amendment the Supreme Court Justices cannot interpret such social and humane programs to be included as "constitutional."

Except, of course, when it comes to Corporate welfare and making corporations individuals, just like you or me.

Back to the Main Subject:

So,  that conservative view of the Constitution means that we can only fund the "militia", which back in the late 1700s were muskets and bayonets and army uniforms (maybe); no one from the eighteenth century could have dreamed of fighter jets, nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, rocket launchers, and million man armies. Whenever I hear senators, representatives, and presidential candidates talking about increasing funding to the military or making it "great" again, I do have to wonder why we need even more military might than we already have. There is not a single other country on Earth that even comes close to the US Military in its strength and national budget spent on it. A single fighter jet could easily fund the National Endowment for the Arts, for example, or an After School program for children in the inner cities of the United States. But there are those loud and strident voices in the Congress that insist that the Constitution does not allow for such programs and they have been eager to defund all such programs for decades—and now they finally have their chance with the President and both houses of Congress in the hands of one party.

In other words, no amount of money is enough for our military, and yet the cost of a single jet is too much to spend on programs that help the US continue to be a humane country, a country that looks after everyone when they need a hand up or a place of refuge or a program that will help them get back on their feet.

Update September 26, 2017

And now, Trump is itching to use the nuclear arsenal on North Korea, and Kim Jong Un is ready for him to do it. Both these pigs are itching to destroy the planet. And instead of global warming we will have nuclear winter.

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