Patriotism, like democracy, means different things to different people. I will define my brand of patriotism so I won’t be misunderstood. I don’t really have a big problem with Colin Kaepernick or Megan Rapinoe. Disrespecting a flag and a song might be distasteful but there are much bigger fish to fry.
Loyalty or devotion to who or what is critical in defining patriotism. Focusing on symbols detracts from true patriotic duty.
Is the interest of the people best served by giving them something, that is, something taken from someone else? Or is it best served by a simple function of government to secure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the stated goal of The Declaration of Independence. Giving them something that belongs to someone else violates the goal of The Declaration.
Think of the war on Afghanistan, the war on Iraq, and the war on Vietnam. Was the legitimate function of government being exercised then? Whose rights were being secured? In the cases of Medicare and Social Security, or the war on poverty, or the war on drugs, whose rights are being secured?
How can we be true patriots when we base our opinions on experts and not simply think logically through an issue. Experts like generals on TV were consulted on whether to wage war. That’s like asking a drug pusher if he advises use of heroin.
In the cases of the social programs, experts have an easy time promoting the idea of taking from the haves to give to the have-nots. It seems simple until you think logically about the causes of dependency and the long-term consequences, such as fatherless families, crime, and poverty (as a result of discouragement of initiative through the blaming of others for our plight). But as long as we simply take the advice of experts we don’t need to put on our thinking caps.
When the U.S. Military was closing in on Tora Bora and Osama bin Laden it became clear that his capture or death would spell an end to another chapter of profitable war. Saddam Hussein then was touted as a threat with his “weapons of mass destruction,” even though he was a sworn enemy of bin Laden. Tora Bora was abandoned without success, to be revisited when Iraq failed to present a profitable war.
Support for all these expensive boondoggles is the opposite of patriotism. Skepticism is the essence of it. The Constitution very clearly forbids congressionally undeclared wars and social programs. Yet it still allows for elections. Why? Because the authors assumed that a tradition of informed and logical thought would prevail when they were gone. They thought that people who saw their hard-earned money squandered on unconstitutional projects waged to steal, not secure their rights, would vote for politicians who would defend them.
When you think of patriots, think of people like Julian Assange, Daniel Hale, and Robert Malone . These people all tried to expose vast amounts of theft from the American people and were vilified successfully instead of recognized for their sacrifices. Hermann Goring, one of the architects of the rise of Adolf Hitler, made it plain how people can be manipulated, “All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”
Our reliance on experts and lack of interest beyond that has cost each man, woman, and child in America $6,060 only from the war on Afghanistan. Patriots like Barbara Lee of California who was the only congressperson to vote against giving the president the power to declare war, need to be recognized and held up as role models for us all.
In all the climate change dialog there has always been something missing. We hear of rising sea levels and temperate lands turned into desert. Very little discussion is directed at how we can stabilize the climate, including the actual effect it will have on all of us.
South of Hampton is a new solar energy installation. It is dwarfed by proposed projects in southeast Iowa that would cover over 4,000 acres.
When I have friends visiting from other parts of the country, their main observation is how green it is here. In this summer of drought, just look at the corn. Experienced farmers marvel at the progress that has been made in corn genetics and how it has enabled the corn to stay green and yield under stress. A much bigger factor to me and visitors from distant places is the soil.
Joseph Stalin starved 3 million people to death in Ukraine to rob them of their extremely rare quality soil. Farmers in Ukraine at the time owned their own land. Stalin painted them as exploiters of consumers and workers. You don’t starve 3 million people over peanuts. Russians were easily convinced they must eliminate the capitalist oppressors.
To cover 4,000 acres of such a rare resource should require a good reason.
Professor William E. Rees has looked into climate change, the attempt to deal with it, and its effects. Alan Guebert, a liberal columnist who writes about the farming business has pointed out some of Dr. Rees’s findings:
To eliminate fossil fuel use would require 81% of the world’s energy use to be converted to electricity. Grid construction rate in the U.S. would have to increase 14 times over that of the last 100 years. Annual construction of windmills would have to quadruple every year for the next 15 years. Annual construction of solar panels over the same period would have to triple each year.
The process of this energy infrastructure production would then have to be repeated indefinitely because 15 years is the life span of this equipment. The landfills will be busy.
Each scenario will also take vast amounts of energy to accomplish. And like ethanol production, that energy will be provided by fossil fuels.
Then to store that energy, because the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow all the time, batteries will be required. Elon Musk’s $5 billion, largest in the world battery factory, produces enough batteries in a year to store only 3 minutes of U.S. electricity demand.
Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” in 1968 predicting worldwide famine in the 1970s and 1980s. Their book did not account for scientific advances and efficiencies. The world has less hungry people now than ever. Entrepreneurs seeking profit by providing for willing buyers prevented the Ehrlichs’ forecast catastrophe.
What could get in the way of a similar outcome in dealing with climate change today are these useless solutions like alternative energy mandates diverting capital from projects that can truly help us adapt.
As Michael Moore’s recent documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” pointed out, much of the Green New Deal type legislation or rules will be ineffective and wasteful in alleviating the threat of human caused climate change (that is, if humans are responsible at all). And ultimately make things worse.
These things always come about when freedom is exchanged for security. I should say perceived security because as Dr. Rees and Michael Moore point out, all these climate change amelioration efforts are not affordable. So all the money taken from the market to accomplish them will go to waste.
Next thing you know those solar panels south of Hampton will power grow lights in a hydroponic greenhouse.