Somebody help me here, please! I don’t understand a basic principal of semper paratus. That, for us illiterates who don’t speak the three languages of English, Latin and Body, simply means “always ready.” (It also happens to be the motto of the U.S. Coast Guard.)
The fact is, we can get our jets and missiles into Libya faster than a teenager consumes hamburgers even when there wasn’t any threat to us in America or our corporate oil interests. We can get overwhelming numbers of troops, and former Vice President Dick’s Blackwater mercenaries, to die faster than water in the Iraqi desert even when there were no weapons of mass destruction to threaten America. And we can even get our soldiers to tediously ‘not’ find Osama bin Laden, inversely more slowly than our missles can quickly find a fruit fly’s navel – even in the nefarious mountains of Afghanistan. You know, I could be wrong, but I’ve never heard of no Afghan armada threatening to sail up the Mississippi. Of course, you smoke enough of their good stuff and you just might be willing to try sleeping with Lassie.
So, I ask you: Why is it we have all these contingencies – or plans that can be quickly organized, semper paratus — when it comes to dropping bombs and killing people? But whatever we’ve got seems to get stuck in a sewage pipe when it comes to workable contingencies for saving folks here in America. Like the New Orleans flood. Bank derivatives. Mortgage debacles. Healthcare comas. Schools getting F’s. And our criminal, criminal, broken and lack-of-justice system. Oh yeah, and Three Mile Island seems destined to revisit us after what we’re seeing radiate Japan as their potentially worse nuclear mishap since we nuked Hiroshima.
President Ike, who planned the Allied invasion, liked to say that plans are worthless; but planning is everything. Which simply means you must always be considering the possibilities; the unforeseen. You need tangible emergency procedures – not merely on the predictable, but the far-fetched. That’s why we have an over-funded fat-cat government. What have they been doing with all our money? That is, besides congress grandstanding with more worthless hearings before the TV cameras after the gold has already been snatched from Fort Knox.
So, who in the state and local and federal governments is accountable? And why haven’t consequences ever been meted out? You know, as I’ve said in my previous blogs, why aren’t the consequences simple, direct and without equivocation: over-circumcision, castration or transgendering. With a machete.
After all, we’re simply asking for people to do their jobs – unionized or not – for which they are receiving a respectable compensation and sizeable benefits the 20 percent unemployed in this country are salivating to stick their pitchforks into.
What? You think these economic and policy train wrecks caught us by surprise? They’ve never happened before in our history? Oh, puh-leaze….Have you been drinking in Buffalo? Like the sage said: All that man learns from history is that man learns nothing from history. Viet Nam, for instance.
The pumpernickel irony is that we’ve got battalions of subcontractors and post nasal drip consultants, full time (un)civil servants as well as those cockamamie, unenlightened D.C. vampires rapaciously chomping on our money veins with the glee of a baby in a topless bar.
But then when there is a crisis, it’s always a: “Say what!? Wall Street did what? Again?” And they go about reinventing the wheel. Pointing fingers. Telling us it was a force of nature that even the most powerful 4-wheel-drive-SUV couldn’t overcome.
But let Iraq screw with Bush Sr.’s oil interest in Kuwait and man, Hussein got himself drowned in a tornado of U.S. Troops faster than a repo buzzard seizes your car. I don’t even know what we’re doing in Iraq; but Bush ‘W’ got us there so quickly, didn’t he? Or, why didn’t we first ask the Russians why in the hell we’re going into Afghanistan. And I know one day soon I’ll be scratching above and below the belt about the shores of Tripoli. We know who all the bad guys are – the leaders on whom we’ve showered billions and billions of dollars for years. What we don’t know is who the good guys are.
Yet, there we are. But, of course! And with the Arab League’s inability to put their troops where their money-mouths are we’ll probably be almost everywhere – except China and Russia.
We don’t know what we’re doing in the countries in the Mideast, for the most part, yet we actually react quickly and do something — and then blame Israel. However, in America, where we’re supposed to know what we’re doing here, everything gets lost in committee. We have committees and ad hocs and organizations supposedly structured to prepare feasible reactions to most any form of metaphorical and unthinkable tsunamis; but their response can often be measured by the negative speed of a glacier’s rotation.
We refuse to confront the issues walking in front of us — homeless. Or the issues behind us such as what we do, don’t-do, redo and doo-doo with healthcare. Everyone’s afraid they won’t get reelected if they speak the truth about what actually needs to be about the demise of our education system. We forget our history. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
Where are our contingencies? Our semper paratus? It is so much easier fighting a war of bullets from the ground and air over there than it is repairing, preparing and maintaining the magnitude of peace and tranquility over here. It used to be said that while all those ridiculous computer games our kids have been playing the last 15 years weren’t training them to be better thinkers, they were, however, grooming them to be better fighter pilots.
And once more: where’s my machete when I need it?