Once a Marine...

Once a Marine...
Every year or so, I get together with my Marine Officer buddies. We're not as lean, not as mean, but we're still Marines. That's me, with the long hair.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nothing Comic About It

On August 30, the worldwide news media and Internet blogosphere exploded with breathless commentary about the publication of a coloring book describing the historicity of the 9/11 attacks. The pundits and spokespeople decried the comic book as disgusting, hateful, and disturbing. The publisher responded by explaining it was a tool for parents to teach their children about the underlying facts of that awful September morning.

Now why, I wondered, would a parent need a teaching tool for 9/11? Then it hit me—maybe because outside the home their children are hearing that a fact-based comic book is disgusting, hateful and disturbing, instead of being told that Muslim Jihadists are disgusting, hateful and disturbing.

I searched out the offensive comic book, assuming it would have pictures depicting, oh, I don’t know—Muslims dancing in the streets at the news the Towers had fallen. Maybe a picture of Daniel Pearl screaming in agony as members of Al-Qaeda sawed off his head while chanting “God is great!” And at least one picture of the president of Iran at the podium, proclaiming Israel should be “wipe off the map.” Sure, all these events are real. And really happened. And are parts of American history. But, but, but—talking about them isn’t sensitive, because it might “offend” the American Muslim community.

Here’s what I found inside that the hateful publication: An illustration of a news anchor reporting that Osama Bib Laden had been identified as the mastermind behind the attack; an illustration of someone crying from grief; George W. Bush addressing the nation; Osama Bin Laden cowering behind one of his wives as a Navy SEAL arranges for his expedited delivery to paradise; and finally, a picture of the Founding Fathers. Aside from the hateful pictures, the words—the dreadful words—that seem to have taken the coloring books over the edge into hate-speech is the description that the men who participated in the 9/11 slaughter were “freedom-hating, radical, Islamic Muslim extremists.”

And the problem is?

Okay, yes… the writing is childish. But the target market is parents wanting a way to explain mass murder to their—wait for it—children. Why does the writer use both of the words “Islamic” and “Muslim”? I don’t know—but I’ll bet you a $1,000 it has something to do with the fact that the average American child doesn’t understand that a “Muslim” is someone who practices a religion called “Islam.” That said, it’s probably best to use obvious, declarative terms when communicating with children. I mean, you’re probably not going to get a lot of Santa-mileage if you tell Johnny that Santa “exercises fiscal restrain when encountering morally ambiguous kids.”

The claims against the comic book also allege Islamophobia, which one would decipher to mean “a fear of Muslims.” Man, we love our phobias these days, don’t we? I don’t have Islamophobia, but here’s one I do have: Strapped-into-a-jet-going-600-miles-an-hour-with-a-suicidal-terrorist-in-the-pilot’s-seat-phobia. I hear we have lots of warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan who are bothered by a mild case of trying-to-keep-peace-and-help-build-a-functional-and-free-government-when-a-suicide-bomber-denotes-near-me-phobia. And, apparently, there are several thousand kids with growing-up-without-a-parent-beacause-of-9/11-phobia.

Our fear of “inspiring fear” within the American population is ponderous. Consider this: There are thousands of children who’ve actually lost a parent in the War on Terror who’ve never seen the video footage of the 9/11 attacks. Let me ask you: When was the last time you saw it? Unless you’ve tracked it down on the Internet, you haven’t seen it in 9 ½ years. Why? Because the media/government complex—even Fox News—decided that the footage was too “incendiary” for us to see anymore. It might result in a backlash against the American Muslim community. Aaaaand, poof! It was gone. Although the tenth anniversary of 9/11 will have passed by the time you read this, I’m betting in advance there won’t be a lot of telecasts showing the raw horror of the slaughter, followed by the sublime bravery of young men and women who joined the military to fight for freedom. I’m betting there will be lots of mourning, and remembrances, and video essays on the mistakes we’ve made, and exposes on the foolishness of invading Iraq. What I doubt we’ll see is anything as starkly truthful as the coloring book in question: Muslim extremists did this, so we did this.

Should we include the story of the collateral damage caused by our war on terrorism? Sure, why not. Self-flagellation has become an American pastime, and if feeling bad about America makes you feel good, have at it. Just remember: We didn’t draw first blood in this war.

In closing this missive, I think it fitting to end with a commentary about the illustration drawing the most outrage: The one of Osama Bin Laden getting shot. Why? Because I’ve been asked by dozens of friends, “Do you think killing Bin Laden has made America a safer place?”

I had to ponder that a while, and here’s the answer I believe is true: No, killing Bin Laden didn’t make America safer. But you know what it has done? It’s gotten terrorists and dictators and warlords all over the world sleeping with one eye open. Why? Because it showed that if you murder innocent civilians in our nation, we will track you down and shoot you dead. Even if it takes 10 years. Even if the sitting President is a left-leaning Democrat who opposes war. You can run, but you cannot hide.

That’s a fact so simple, even a child could grasp it. Maybe we should send copies of the comic to the terrorist leaders.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Don't tell me. Seriously. Don't...

Well, it appears the unpleasant task of speaking up on the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell has fallen to me.

Before I begin, however, let me say I have no negative feelings towards gays. What a king does inside his castle is of no concern to me. I should also point out that I am going to limit my opinion on the integration of openly gay men to the Marine Corps, as that’s the only branch where I served.

To start the discussion, let’s start at the top: The issue of repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell is currently big news, because the paper-pushing Generals and Admirals at the Pentagon have released a “study” that says it wouldn’t affect readiness, morale, or good order and discipline. Well, let me give you a little education about Generals and Admirals, and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: They have about as much in common with the frontline gunfighters as Barack Obama has with his brother… the one who lives in a box… in Kenya. For the men who do the front-line fighting and dying, the worries and concerns and political aspirations of the Pentagon Brass are irrelevant. As a result, that’s the category where I’ll file their study—under irrelevant.

Next, let’s discuss the issue of culture: When young men join the Marines, they do so because they are patriots, willing to fight and die for their country. They make a conscious decision to join the toughest branch of service. Why? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out: They join the Marines because they want to prove themselves worthy of the legend of the Corps—and its reputation for taking civilians and turning them into tough men willing to fight on the front lines.

Kids who choose the Corps are either already tough, or they are like I was—decidedly not tough, and hoping to earn that adjective. In Boot Camp and Officer Candidate School the Corps takes boys and makes killers. Yes, Killers. Not well-rounded men, not renaissance men, not poet-warriors… killers. Every fresh graduate from Boot Camp or OCS is itching for a chance to prove himself in combat, and proving yourself means “showing courage under fire and killing lots of the enemy.” Personally killing them. Note, please, that I’m talking specifically about the culture among 17 to 29 year-old Marines, not among the “older and wiser” lot who’ve had some years to mature. I’m talking about the lads who are getting shot and maimed, yet refuse evacuation and bleed to death in order to keep fighting alongside their buddies. These are men who redefine “macho,” and their definition has nothing to do with wash-board abs.

So, gentle reader, do you think that maybe you could make an informed guess about the personality traits of these young men? What do you think they talk about in the barracks? What magazines do you think they read? How many do you think want to “discuss the issue” when they are insulted or threatened? What percentage do you think cuss, drink to excess, and pursue women with less than marital intentions? And what percentage do you think act sensitively when they see what they perceive to be an “oddity” in the man who is supposed to guard their flank?

Now, let’s discuss you, if you are one of those who Americans who think the Marines should be forcibly integrated with openly gay men. Who, exactly, do you think you are? If you’ve never served in a Marine Corps combat unit, what makes you think your opinion even matters? I can hear you already, whining, “If you substitute ‘black’ for ‘gay’ and ‘white’ for ‘straight,’ you’re offering the same argument used against racially integrating the military.” Not true: The Marine Corps is, whether you like it or not, an uber-macho gun culture. As a result, it takes a black Marine about a day to win the respect of a white Marine. That’s because performance is performance is performance. What you see is what you get—and the homogeny of the all-green brotherhood remains in tact.

Homosexuality, however, is a divisive issue, particularly among young men who grew up in a hard-scrabble environment, and not in the ivy-covered walls of private schools and country clubs. Should it be? That’s completely irrelevant. I’ve been there, and I’ve served with these men, and I can tell you that in their world the word “gay” is used as an uber-insult, not to describe “an alternative lifestyle.”

Now, let’s discuss where the rubber meets the road: In combat, and in company level tactics. The worst part of being a Marine Officer in combat is it is you who will pick the platoon or squad that does the hardest job. Translated, you will pick which men are probably going to die. Unlike in the movies, you don’t ask for volunteers to “rush that machine gun nest,” you order men to do it. Guess what? Most men don’t want to die! Yes, believe it or not, they want to kill the enemy, but they don’t want to die. So why do they do it? Because the Skipper said to, and the Skipper is the man with the plan. And then they rush the machine gun nest because it’s their turn, and they aren’t going to let down their buddies. But what happens if you cloud this life-and-death moment with doubt? If you add in an element of mistrust? Here’s how it happens:

The Company Commander is openly gay, and he has three Infantry Lieutenants under his command—two straight, and one gay. And now it’s time for him to send a platoon of fifty well-armed men to die… men who don’t want to die, even if it means being heroes. The Company Commander picks the Lieutenant he believes will do the best job and will arrive at the objective with least casualties. If he chooses the gay Lieutenant, then the potential problem is 49 enlisted men thinking, “He picked us because our Lieutenant is gay, and he wants to appear unbiased to the Battalion Commander. I ain’t dying for that.” If he chooses a straight Lieutenant, the potential problem is 49 enlisted Marines thinking, “He picked us because he doesn’t want that gay Lieutenant to get hurt. I ain’t dying for that.”

Will this scenario happen? It doesn’t matter—the potential of a disruption of the good order and discipline of the unit is there. Those young men deserve to serve in an environment where we have done everything humanly possible to eliminate distractions while increasing readiness, morale, and esprit de corps. And if integrating the Corps costs a single Marine’s life—ever—then those who voted to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell will have his blood on their hands.

If I thought people would read it, I could write another 1,000 words. Additional issues need to be discussed, like discrimination lawsuits, fraternization issues, promotion boards, unwritten quotas, hate/insensitive speech, security clearance, and the cost of retrofitting facilities on land and sea and air.

The bottom line is this: The young men who stand on that wall and provide you with the blanket of freedom under which you sleep don’t want gay men in the ranks. Why that is doesn’t matter. It’s just the truth. And I’m sorry if you can’t handle the truth.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Decisions must be made...

Within the political arena, there is any number of incredibly complex issues. Some of them boggle the mind. I mean, really—how is America supposed to respond to North Korea sinking a South Korean ship? It’s North Korea, for crying out loud. Once you eliminate the only feasible answer (nuke them) as not-so feasible, it gets really messy really quick. The North Korean army subsists on a diet of water and pain, and you do not want to brawl those kinds of people when they live halfway across the world.

Health care is no easy fix, either. Health care is broken because the government, Medicare, Medicaid, and lots of really expensive (lifesaving) technology and research broke it—but what do we do with all those people whose very lives depend on subsidized American health care? People who’ve been told their entire lives to expect it? It’s not like we can get an LBJ-do-over. It’s here, and we can’t afford it. We can’t afford it more each day. That’s complex.

I for one think we should at least fix the things we can fix, until someone really smart figures out the complex stuff. Unfortunately, that really smart person is apparently not yet alive, but in the meantime we can just keep selling T-bills to the Chinese. I don’t know what they do with all that paper, but they sure seem to love it. Uh-oh. I just stumbled into another complex issue.

But, let’s say we were interested in solving some of the less complex issues. It would still take a razor sharp mind and keen understanding of the issues. In thinking this idea through, I decided to enlist the aid of my four-year-old nephews, Ben and Henry. We gathered for an afternoon think-tank, and spent dozens of minutes arriving at the solutions.

First, the very complex issue of “immigration reform.” Henry, what would you do if you were trying to keep Ben from coming into your room and playing with your toys? Did you say, “Close the door?”

The mile-deep oil spill. Ben, if there was a shiny quarter lying on the ground across an eight-lane highway, and one right there in your yard, which one would your Dad encourage you to pick up?

The current federal deficit of $13 trillion dollars. Henry, if you were to eat so many cookies you thought you might puke, what could you do stop the problem? What’s that? Stop eating cookies? Smart boy.

Job creation. Ben, if your Mom wants you to clean up your room, does she a) make you pay her for the privilege of doing so? b) encourage you to clean up by offering a popsicle when you’re done?

Air travel security. You’re parents tell you a red-haired boy has been seen breaking into neighborhood homes. Do you a) Alert your parents if you see a boy with red hair in the yard? b) Alert your parents every time a man, woman, or child so much as drives by the house?

Education. If you got to choose between a school with really great teachers and one with really awesome playgrounds, which would you choose? Really? Okay, well, I’m just going to have to be the adult here and decide for you.

The Bill of Rights. Okay, listen carefully: You both know the rules of Simon Says. The big questions is, “Do the rules apply to you, even if you don’t want them to?” That’s correct—they do, unless you want to quit and move somewhere with different rules. Good answer.

Bailouts and Stimulus Packages. Ben, if you whack Henry in the head with your Nerf bat and make him cry, what happens? What would you think if, instead of a timeout, your parents rewarded you with a cupcake and a trip to Chucky Cheese?

Lobbyists. Do you lads sometimes disagree about what your Mom should cook for dinner? Do you think the one who proposes the healthiest meal should get their way? Or the one who’s saved up the most money to give to Mom, even if the menu he wants is Cheez-Whiz and beer?

Iraq and Afghanistan. What’s the rule about cleaning up a mess you make, even if you were trying to do something nice like make your Mom a birthday card?

The thing I find most amazing about my think-tank exercise with my nephews is that apparently no one in Washington has access to such bright young fellows. George Bush failed—and Barack Obama is failing—to come within a thousand miles of these self-evident solutions. Worse yet, the House and then Senate are blind as well. How can this be?

I pressed Ben and Henry for their ideas on why this governmental degenerative disorder exists, and they recommended we put the entire lot of them in a corner and let them think about it. Brilliant.

I hereby propose the President and Congress be put in a corner for the next Congressional term: No free dinners, no free booze, no flirtatious interns, no “fact finding” junkets, no free golf, no free air travel, no public speaking endorphins, no congressional healthcare, no federal exemptions from federal regulations, no pension deposits, no special parking, and no TV interviews. For the next two years, they get to be working Americans like the rest of us. After two years, we’ll see what they’ve learned—and if enough problems are solved, we’ll allow them back to the trough.

I bet they balance the budget in six weeks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Video Post

As a political commentator, I'm always humbled when I encounter real genius. Here's a six minute video commentary on the mosque that's slated to be built by Ground Zero, offered by a cat named Pat Condell. He is a genius.

Cut & Paste: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/06/pat-condell-on-ground-zero-mosque-is-it-possible-to-be-astonished-but-not-surprised.html

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Greene Party?

I cannot stop laughing.

Alvin Greene, an unemployed young man who lives in Manning with his parents, is the Democratic candidate chosen to face Senator Jim DeMint for the United States Senate. Mr. Greene not only beat Vic Rawle, he crushed him.
Alvin Greene didn’t so much as print a bumper sticker or yard sign. He didn’t attend any Democratic events. He ran no television or radio. He ran against political veteran Vic Rawle, who worked hard to win, doing all of the things usually required—fundraising, speeches, printed literature, you name it.
And yet, Greene won with 59% of the vote. That’s a mandate level margin.

The Democrats and the laughably liberal media are going insane.

The Washington Post wrote the most condescending, racist piece of journalism published in 40 years, in which they quoted Greene literally—court-reporter style. Sure, they clean up the language of Congressmen they like, but not poor Alvin Greene. They make him out to be a complete moron. Is he? Perhaps, but he’s also the Democrat’s choice for the US Senate.

Jim Clyburn, as you probably know, is calling for an investigation of Greene’s candidacy. He believes Greene was put up by some shadowy figure for nefarious reasons. He and the Democratic leadership within the state are calling for Mr. Greene to step out of the race, stating that he’s not qualified.

Qualified? Qualified? What exactly are the qualifications needed to serve in Congress, a parliament of whores, thieves, nitwits, trust-fund babies, pathological liars, and boot lickers? I can think of no job in the entire nation that requires less qualifications. Not one. I was a cashier at a fast food restaurant a few years ago, and in that role at least I had to be honest. Amongst politicians it’s considered reasonable to argue over what the definition of “is” is.

Oh, and Mr. Clyburn? What exactly were Barack Obama’s qualifications to be President?

The national media is baffled about how this happened, but it’s actually quite simple. Native South Carolinians (and Jim Clyburn) already know the answer, but—shudder, it has to do with race, and apparently we’re no longer allowed to act as if race even exists. So here you go: Alvin Greene spells his last name with an “e” on the end. In South Carolina, that’s how African Americans spell the name Greene—with an “e.” Everyone knows it. And when African American voters entered the voting booth, they could tell from the names that a black man was running against a white man. So they voted for the black man. Period.

I’ve seen two video interviews with Alvin Greene thus far, and he strikes me as a perfectly likable guy. He’s definitely got the deer-in-the-headlights thing going on, but why shouldn’t he— a couple weeks ago he’d never spoken to a reporter in his life. Does he strike me as smart? No, but 99.9% of elected officials don’t strike me as smart, either. And unlike most members of Congress, Mr. Greene doesn’t strike me as a mean-spirited narcissist, either.

Consider this: When Sarah Palin arrived on the scene, average Republican voters got fired up and reengaged—here was a gal who is “one of us.” A married, Christian, blue-collar gal, more passionate than intellectual. She says what’s on her mind, and many of us fell in love with her. To some degree, the same thing occurred with Joe the Plumber. Who says Alvin Greene doesn’t (or won’t) appeal to Democrats in the same way?

Our “elected class” and our media, that’s who. Greene’s not good enough! He’s not polished! He’s nervous in interviews! He didn’t run around sucking up and selling favors in exchange for campaign contributions! He’s even got a pending “obscenity” charge against him.

Really? Like, uh, Bill Clinton had? But instead of “obscenity,” wasn’t it adultery? In the Oval Office? And don’t I recall every Democrat in America shouting that “one’s private life is private, and has no bearing on public service?”

Personally, I kind of doubt Alvin Greene came up with the $10,000 needed to file to run. I think someone gave him the dough. But at the end of the day, the voters spoke. No matter what smoking guns are uncovered by Jim Clyburn’s investigation, the fact remains that 100,000 South Carolina voters gave him the nod. There was no scandal there—the votes were legitimate. Yes, I think we had a bunch of black folks saying they’d rather have a black man than a white man, but the last time I checked that’s allowed in America.

There is something good that can come out of this: Democrats across the nation can once again get a crystal-clear look at their party, and see—again—how elitist their leaders are. How Jim Clyburn and Barack Obama are acceptable blacks, but Alvin Greene isn’t. How black voters are good, but only if they stay in line and do what’s expected.

My guess is that Alvin Greene’s life will be more-or-less destroyed by this. The political elites will crucify and embarrass him to the point that, even if they never uncover a conspiracy, he will drop out just to make it all stop. Yet another American citizen will be crushed by those who rule us.

I said at the beginning that I can’t stop laughing, but I’m not laughing at Alvin Greene. I’m not laughing at the voters who elected him. I’m laughing at the media and the politicians who are outraged that an African American was elected without their permission.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Will to Win Wars

Somewhere in the Berzerkistan Province of Iraq, an awards ceremony is taking place:

General: Well, Captain, what did you do?

Captain: I’m a fighter pilot, General. I dropped flaming gasoline on a group of men.

General: Hmm, they looked suspicious, eh?

Captain: Roger that, General.

General: Very good. You get, uh, these three ribbons, and… this medal.

General’s Aide: Next!

Sergeant: General, I engaged in house-to-house fighting, and when I ran out of ammo I commenced to bashin’ heads in with my shovel. By the time the battle was done, I was down to gouging out the eyes of the enemy using my MRE spoon.

General: Nicely done, Sergeant. You’re a killer, and a man for the enemy to fear. You get you get two ribbons, a badge, and this medal.

General’s Aide: Next!

General: Ah! A young lady! What did you do?

Private: Sir, I made a guy wear my underwear on his head. Oh, and one time I watched while another MP had a dog bark really loud at a prisoner. Want to see the pictures?

General: Are you kidding me? Absolutely! That is so freakin’—

General’s Aide: Pssst. There’s a reporter watching, Sir.

General: …so… so freakin’ bad! Bad Private. No ribbons. You go to jail.

General’s Aide: Next!

Lieutenant: General, my platoon was ambushed, and we wiped out the enemy.

General: Well done, Lieutenant. Four ribbons, and medal.

General’s Aide: Next!

Staff-Sergeant: General, my squad was ambushed, and we wiped out the enemy.

General: Well, that’s the sort of thing—

General’s Aide: Sir, there’s a reporter here from the New York Times, and he says he talked to one of the enemy and the enemy says that the Staff Sergeant wiped them out.

General: Yes, well, uh, isn’t that the point?

General’s Aide: The enemy says they didn’t deserve it.

General: And?

General’s Aide: And the reporter is from the N-e-w Y-o-r-k T-i-m-e-s.

General: As I was saying, Staff Sergeant, that’s the sort of thing that results in murder charges. You go to jail.

Staff-Sergeant: Murder? In a combat zone? In a fire fight?

General: Get a photographer over here. I’m ready to do my concerned and disappointed look.

Somewhere in Charleston, a former Marine boils:

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for a brief, educational break: War is what our military does, and as is the case with all war-making units, they hurt people, and break things. The hurting and the breaking continues until the other side is so broken and so hurt they’ll do anything to make it stop, even listen to American politicians tell them what to do. Sometimes achieving this is very hard, because listening to American politicians is an awful fate indeed: Clear thinking folks that the Japanese are, they resisted long and hard. Finally, we had to nuke a couple of civilian cities.

But, that’s the way it goes. The man in charge of the mission made the call, and the atom bombs flew. FYI, here is the total number of people who went to jail for nuking two civilian cities: Zero. Here’s the total number of guards who went to jail for teasing Japanese POWs: Zero.

But… times have changed. America today is a kinder, gentler America than back in the 1940’s. These days, the press has virtually unlimited access to our wars, and those brave war correspondents have kept us on that path of kindness and gentleness. Only once have we strayed from this new recipe: During Gulf I in 1990, the military put all the reporters in a room and spoke to them only during daily briefings. In unrelated news, Gulf I is also the only war we’ve actually won since WWII.

So, how did we reach this point? When did we as a nation begin accepting the second hand testimony of the enemy as a reason to charge our military men with murder? When did we sink so low as to make a public spectacle of a little girl named Lindy England?

It began the day John F. Kennedy took two for the team. In covering JFK’s funeral, the American media discovered that they could not only report the news, they could shape the way we feel about the news. I have painstakingly charted the media’s emotionalizing of stories, and found that when that chart intersected the chart tracking politicians who govern by poles, the result was, uh, America today.

The formula is now thus:

Politician- This Abu Ghraib thingee is problematic. The networks are screaming bloody murder. What do the polls say?

Handler- Well, the CNN poll says the American public is outraged. The MSNBC poll says the American public demands action. ABC, CBS, and NBC all report that America’s standing as the world’s moral compass has been shattered.

Politician- How about Fox? What do their polls say?

Handler- Their polls indicate the American people think it’s kinda cool, so they’re launching a bumper sticker slogan contest.

Politician- Well, how do I play it?

Handler- It’s a tough call, Big Guy. Those are our soldiers, and it’s their lives were discussing here. We need more facts.

Politician- Ha! Good one! You can always make me laugh when I’m down!

Handler- Just go with the polls, Boss. Demand an investigation, sound angry, and throw the military under the bus. The press loves that indignant routine.

Somewhere in Charleston, a former Marine asks some questions:

Should we, America, ever go to war again? Do we have the will to inflict the violence necessary to utterly break another people, like Sherman broke the South? Is there any cause so great that the press would agree not to publish information about secret missions before they happen? Is it possible in today’s world of live-feed news and Twitter to allow the commanders on the ground the do their jobs? Can we forgive our troops when they lose control and wreak havoc on bystanders? If the answers are what I think they are, should we become isolationists?

Food for thought--

Monday, March 8, 2010

Can America Defy the Laws of Math?

If you are a thinking person, you’ve been feeling the stress of cognitive dissonance regarding America’s economy. Even with no training in economics, you know something is very, very wrong. Perhaps you can’t quite lay your finger on it, but you know there’s a bad moon rising, and something’s got to give.

Thus far, you’ve likely rationalized that gut feeling away, and you’ve accomplished this by listening to dozens of experts give dozens of conflicting opinions, and it all swirls together into one big lump of economic-theory nonsense. In the end, you assume “the best and the brightest” are working on the issue, and the problem will ultimately get solved.

It won’t.

The best and the brightest aren’t working on the problem—life-long politicians and bureaucrats are. The people in charge of getting us out of this meltdown are the same people who got us into it. There’s no brilliant guy in the background offering sage advice. In fact, no one in charge has any idea whatsoever what they are doing. No one. But the emperor isn’t the only one who has no clothes—his advisors are naked, too.

If you will take the time to research the decisions made by the President and Congress during the past two years, you will quickly come to the conclusion that America of 2010 is unrecognizable to the America of 2007. Can you even keep track of what’s been nationalized, subsidized, and socialized? Wall Street, Banking, Insurance, the Auto Industry, now Hedge Funds—what’s next? Airlines? Credit Card Companies? Newspapers? Pandora’s Box is open, and the folks in charge seem unwilling to close it, no matter the cost.

Ah, the cost. It’s another area where you’ve been experiencing cognitive dissonance, because you keep wondering how the taxpayer is going to pay down this debt. How can we pay off hundreds of billions of dollars? Well, we could if that was all it was… but there’s more. A lot more: As reported on Bloomberg, the Federal Reserve pledged to create, out of thin air, 7.4 Trillion dollars to bail out the economy. It is one of the biggest financial stories in the history of the world, and… well, did you even know about it? As an added nugget of intrigue, the Fed has stated they won’t reveal who gets that money, or what the Fed gets in return. That’s 7.4 Trillion of your dollars being spent in secret. True to their word, in 2009 the Fed recently placed the initial two trillion, and they aren’t saying where it went.

Question: How can a government in as much debt as ours come up with 7.4 Trillion dollars? Answer: They own the printing presses.

Yes, they will try to “borrow” (and thus “create”) the 7.4 Trillion by selling Treasury Bonds, but it appears that the world is, well, kinda tired of American dollars. They have enough, thanks—and they’re starting to wonder if those dollars are actually worth what they paid for them. Hell, if China owned anymore T-Bills, they would need to invade Taiwan—if for no other reason than a place to store all the paper.

Now, if common sense (and sanity) prevents the rest of the world from buying 7.4 Trillion dollars in T-Bills, plus the 1 Trillion-plus Congress has spent on bailouts, how do we explain where all this paper money is coming from?

Look! Over there! It’s Bigfoot!

That’s right, we can’t. When we run out ways to legitimately “create” money we will simply resort to printing money. And when we begin blatantly and publicly ignoring the very basic laws of economics, China and Japan and Europe and India are going to look at their mountain of T-Bills and say, “These have got to go.”

And then? Game over. The ensuing “run on the dollar” will cause it to collapse, and our consumer economy will fall into a depression. This is a mathematical certainty.

President Bush handled the economic crisis like a moron. President Obama has simply done more of the same, as his “big idea” is to spend a Trillion dollars hiring a few million folks to dig holes, and an equal number to fill them back in. If you’re following the math, that now brings us to 9.4 trillion dollars of “bailout” money. 9.4 Trillion dollars that didn’t exist on the planet earth even six months ago. And that doesn’t even include the budget deficits the White House has seen fit to propose.

Do I have a solution? You bet: What would happen to our economy if the government announced, “We are eliminating all income tax and capitol gains tax until we’ve reached the point of 9.4 trillion in lost tax revenue”? If you guessed the recession would soon be over, step up and collect your prize!

But why won’t they do this? It makes so much sense, right? Instead of taking money out of the economy and inefficiently funneling it back in, just leave it with the American people. We’d then have the money to get our credit cards and cars paid-off, buy a flat-screen, and maybe even have enough available salary to make those pesky mortgage payments. Right?

Wrong. Tax revenues equal money, and money equals power, and you’ll die of old age waiting for a politician to give up power. It is their drug. It is their sex. It is their god.

Prior to discovering Peter Schiff’s website (www.europac.net) and then beginning to research the economy myself, I assumed our leaders would work the situation out. This is America, after all. We’re the greatest nation on the earth. What I now believe is that the foxes are in charge of the henhouse, and foxes eat chickens. It is their nature. And they will continue to eat the chickens until the chickens are gone, even if it means they starve to death later.

So what should you do? First, do your own research. Decide for yourself what you think will happen. If you think nothing is going to happen, then you don’t need to do a thing. But if you think something bad might happen—something life-changing like hyperinflation—then it only stands to reason you should get prepared.

Is it urgent? I cannot say. But consider this: All of America went home for the weekend on a Friday, and Lehman Brothers was a AA-rated investment bank. When business began on Monday, Lehman no longer existed.

Humans are the only species that ignores gut instinct. What is your gut telling you?