Not Our Fight, Again

Well, it’s crisis time again (to paraphrase the great Ray Charles). All over the papers and on the news the Russians are coming and we better have a meeting of diplomats.


Really? Are we so bored that we’ve got to instigate the overthrowing of elected governments because of a nostalgic notion that the Cold War was some kind of precious time in history? First we lionize Ronald Reagan for ending it (he didn’t), then we miss it so bad we dream up a new one. Let’s make up our minds.


To me, the Cold War was a beautiful thing while hot wars are not. We would have drills in school where we all hid under our desks and faced away from the windows so we could live another day to die from radiation poisoning.


Basically nothing happened anyway. MAD was the key to peace. MAD stood for mutually assured destruction. No leader would dare push that red button because then the other leader would do the same. And there was probably something each had to look forward to that day. However, the leader didn’t give a darn about the things their soldiers had to look forward to. So he sent them off on little adventures to kill or be killed for no good reason. Now we buy shrimp from Vietnam but prefer the tastier stuff from the Gulf Coast when we can find it.


Even though the Cold War was not so cold in Korea and Vietnam, stateside things were pretty mellow; at least compared to the world wars that our leaders had foisted on our parents and grandparents.


Although it is politically incorrect to say so, Germany or Japan were never going to invade and rule the United States. We had a geographical advantage that could never be overcome and limited gun control. Our problem was allies.


George Washington recognized this and warned in his farewell address of the dangers of foreign entanglements, especially with Europe. He warned that friendly nations as well as hostile ones would try to use American treasure for their own benefit. Now please consider what we have received in return for the alliances we have formed.


It used to be the rest of the world looked toward America as a model of prosperity and freedom. No wait. That would be freedom, then prosperity. Now they look toward Switzerland. In Switzerland everyone has a gun. They refused entry into the European Union. They are independent and neutral. They are not invaded and they do not spend even a tiny fraction of the amount we do on (so-called) defense. Even without the giant moats of ocean we enjoy.


With our President and his Secretary of State making fools of themselves with empty threats and hypocrisy, and their underlings meddling in places they don’t belong, we are now the laughing stock of the world.


We’ve removed secular governments where dictators enabled stability and made them vulnerable to be taken over by radical Islamists. Then we act horrified when our diplomats are hung out to dry in places like Benghazi, where they should not have ever been in the first place. We ignore Iraq, because where Al-Qaeda was Saddam Hussein’s sworn enemy, they now rule the roost. My sister traveled to Egypt before our covert ops tried to establish democracy there. She was safe. What kind of fool would travel where American intervention has ruined relative peace at this point?


My dad, who flew a B-29 over Tokyo in 1945 said, “We need to rethink foreign policy. We need a goal and a plan.”


A strong national defense does not involve meddling in the affairs of other countries. That sort of thing dilutes our ability to defend ourselves and is an insult to our men and women charged with that defense.


A corrupt Russian government can never be a threat to a non-corrupt American one. But our meddling in Ukraine is a symptom of corruption, not strength. We should get out of Europe and stay out of Europe, while allowing any American to trade there as they please and at their own risk.

Dixieland represents something

Our friend Stefan Hogedal was here last week and revealed to me the fact some people don’t have the ability to enjoy music. So sad to me because, like Mom said, “things taste better when we share.” I tear up from music quite often.

I cried like a baby at a high school music contest when Hans and the rest of a brass quintet did Closer Walk, Dixieland style. As J.D. Miller used to say, “they nailed it.”

I don’t think Winton and this band quite nails it here but they come awful close. Check the drum solo to lead into the upbeat portion. And… it’s alright to cry.

Cry Me a River

OK. The people of Ukraine vote for a pro Russian leader. The US government along with its controllers, nostalgic for Cold War prosperity, will have nothing of it. So the Neo-Nazis are put in power to oppose the “Russian take over”.

Cry Me a River votes similarly, to ally with Russia, and it is characterized as a Russian take over by the lap-dog media dictated to by disappointed Cold War profiteers.

Our (not me but the US government. “our” only used as a communication tool) meddling in the affairs of foreign countries costs us in ways too far reaching for many to comprehend. 9-11. 

That’s right. An example, 9-11.

Instead of calling Obombya wimpy because his threats have no teeth. And hypocritical, “bigger nations cannot simply bully smaller ones,” let’s just call him a fake, partying on our dime and causing damage that makes drunk drivers look like the Good Samaritan.

Another Win For Workers

I mentioned in a previous column that my first car was a 1959 Volkswagen Beetle. My mom gave me rides to work at McDonalds until I saved enough to pay $500 for the seven year old car. It was light and easy to work on. It was so light I went for a month pushing it to start because I was too cheap to buy a battery. Sometimes a passerby would help push.


Hitler called the Bug “the people’s car.” In a fascist state the government tells industry what to do and Hitler thought everyone (except for Jews, homosexuals and others not of use to the Aryan ideal) had a right to a car. This sort of thinking prevails here today and seems widely accepted; but it isn’t limited to cars. Now our elected representatives from both parties agree we have a right to high speed internet. Sheesh.


This is not good news for the internet. When the commies took over East Germany, they started building the Trabant, the worst car ever made. The communists (although different from the Nazis only in targeted hate objects and an immensely more successful murder campaign) totally flubbed the people’s car idea. Although, maybe with everyone constantly trying to keep their cars running, it took their minds off the misery of the communist utopia.


My interest in VW was rekindled when the United Auto Workers (UAW) brought a vote for unionizing the Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen plant. Strangely, Volkswagen officials wouldn’t allow any anti-union lobbying inside the plant but enabled the UAW to do so. Maybe it was to assure that the vote was decisive so the union wouldn’t whine about unfairness. It didn’t work. The union filed an objection with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the grounds that outside influences caused the vote to go against them.


Last week the NLRB decided the anti-UAW employees will be allowed to defend their vote against the union at the NLRB hearings. What? The union had all the advantages and yet lost by a vote of 712 to 626. The advantage the union didn’t have is the truth. Unions destroy competition and competition is the guiding force for successful business.


The UAW office in Detroit may be the only open store front left there but that doesn’t prevent them from sticking their noses in the business of southerners who prefer to offer an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Now they are trying to unionize the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi.


About the time of the beginning of my interest in cars, Toyota and Datsun brought their Coronas and 510s to the U.S. Small, tinny and precisely built, they offered an alternative to the sloppy rolling living rooms offered by Detroit. A 510 could blow away a Chevelle on Topanga Canyon Road at a fraction of the cost. Personal preference dictated whether fun came in a straight line or curves. I like curves. I don’t know if the Datsun name rusted away to reveal Nissan or what but now it is called Nissan.


Nissan doesn’t allow union organizers to disrupt the operation of their plant like VW did. Good for them. It’s their property. Maybe Volkswagen anticipated a taxpayer bailout when the union drove them into insolvency. Many of the Nissan workers don’t welcome the union bullies either. A popular t-shirt around Canton says “If you want a union” on the front and “Move to Detroit” on the back.


The media like to guide public opinion into an us versus them argument, as if these issues were some type of sports contest. They aren’t. It is the difference between right and wrong rooted in an acceptance of force as a means to an end. Unions use force. Any worker, not happy with their job can walk away. Nissan owns no slaves, although I wouldn’t be surprised if labor organizers tried to paint it that way.


Nissan’s desire to turn a profit drives them to provide working conditions and wages to achieve that end by keeping employees on the job. A high turnover of well-trained employees doesn’t. Wages established by a mob subvert that concept and the evidence is in Detroit.


It’s time to put to rest the idea of employers and employees as an adversarial relationship. From international relations to labor relations to personal relationships: an illusional view as adversaries is always used to provide unearned gains for the few at the expense of the many.