Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the Birth of Revelation

Well, today the Prez 'finally' released his Legendary Long Form Birth Certificate.  The Republicans have responded with, among other things, Taking Credit for Having Forced This Supremely Necessary Revelation, saying that It Was Faked, saying that the White House Is Using This - and invented the issue - for Smoke & Mirrors (several versions).

Fast-forward through the obvious counters like Why Couldn't the FN-White-House-Already have Produced the 'Fake' Instantly????  And the next loads, like Obama Musta Gotten Everyplace By Affirmative Action Free Passes from Shadowy Alien Plotters.  O ye Teeps of little imagination!  Catch up!  Isn't it obbbbbbvious that the Halfrican with the Funny Moose-limb name has waited so long to settle the birth certificate bit so that EVERYONE would look at the document?  Never mind that it has numbers we don't understand that may, if you bend 'em 'm' mix 'em just right, add up to the Masonic Kabbalistic Bible Code Number of the BEEESST?  (remember to close your eyes, stop your ears and hum loudly when anyone mentions what FOX adds up to in  alphabetic [the  cannibalistic pagan Hawaiian alphabet doesn't have as many letters as the American alphabet!] and touchpad numerology).  Never mind that the official that affirmed that the certificate was, um, official has a name that shares most letters with 'Obama'.  Go right to the heart!  Look at the name of 'Hussein's' mother:  (1) It never says that his mother is or was a female, dispite the truthy-filled gonna-be-fact that Donald Trump's zillion$ will be able to prove that Hawaiians have anciently insisted that Mothers Be Female Unless They Are Seahorses. And if he doesn't, Glenn Beck will demand and get proof from the Almighty*. (2) His Mother is-or-was obviously a MALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What does this mean, America?  Ism't it obvious?  The Prezdint and his Daaarrk Cabal's next move is forcing every child in the USA, K-to-Grad School, Public to Private to Homeschool, to read (or have read to them, with GRAPHIC graphics!!) and admire Our President Has Two DADDYS! 

Or you could just, on the 'alien' front, wonder how Donald (*a name that means 'Lord of All') Trump (a word that means a loud brass instrument, or, by  Irish allusion, fulminating flatulence) has hair that defies all nature and gravity.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We Dug a Hole That Went Clear Down to China

jg bennet ~ writing comments to David Frum's article
Click here: Why Main Street Takes Trump Seriously FrumForum#comments
and to the comments it elicited in FrumForum:

Apr 21, 2011 at 9:55 am


we are already in a trade war with china and losing badly!

perhaps you are too naive or free trade propagandized to see that we are in a war? well open your eyes and put down the free trade kool-aid and if you have the courage to accept your error read this it is from the horses mouth.

we are losing the trade war big time!!

china has already decimated our manufacturing base and you know what? that is how wars are won.

once a nations manufacturing base is destroyed it is to the victor goes the spoils. look at the south in the civil war they lost largely because the north had ten times the manufacturing base. we defeated germany by destroying their manufacturing base it is old school how to win a war 101…..

According to Forbes, the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Hundreds of formerly thriving industries in the United States are being totally wiped out. China uses every trick in the book to win trade battles. They deeply subsidize their domestic industries, they openly steal technology, they blatantly manipulate currency rates and they allow their citizens to be paid slave labor wages. So yes, the products coming from China are cheaper, but in the process tens of thousands of factories in the U.S. are shutting down, millions of jobs are being lost and the ability of America to create wealth is being compromised.


Times are changing and like it or not free trade has terminal cancer.

A New Economic Paradigm

04/20/11 Singapore, Singapore – Since the 1980s, a culture of debt has arisen in the United States. That change was the consequence of a misguided trade policy that gave rise to a current account deficit of unprecedented size. Between 1982 and 2008, the United States imported $7.4 trillion more than it exported. It financed the shortfall on credit. That credit transformed the structure of the US economy.

Every country’s balance of payments must balance. Thus, between 1982 and 2008, $7.4 trillion in foreign capital entered the United States to finance that deficit. That amount was considerably more than the entire amount of US government debt held by the public at the end of 2008, $5.8 trillion. As the money flowed in, it created a credit-fueled economic bubble—just as foreign capital inflows blew Latin America into an economic bubble in the 1970s and the Asian crisis countries into economic bubbles in the 1990s.

In the process, the structure of the US economy changed. The manufacturing sector was decimated when exposed to ultra-low-wage foreign competition, while the service sector came to dominate the economy and employment as credit-driven asset price inflation created the wealth that made many of those services profitable.

Consequently, over less than three decades, as the US trade deficit grew to previously unimaginable levels, the country’s economic growth model became one of credit-financed consumption that depended on ever-increasing amounts of credit each year to sustain it. In 2008, when the private sector could no longer bear the burden of so much debt, that economic paradigm collapsed.

That paradigm of debt-fueled consumption can never be resuscitated. The US economy is now on government-funded life support that cannot be paid for over the long run. The limited nature of government resources makes it inevitable that a new economic paradigm will emerge over the next five to ten years. The future of the United States—and the rest of the world—will be determined by the form that new paradigm takes.



china will cave because their leaders are basically the mafia not patriots and could care less about their country/people or global politics and more about their personal fortunes………….

WikiLeaks: China’s Politburo a cabal of business empires

China’s ruling Politburo is a cabal of business empires that puts vested interests over the needs of the poor and curtails media freedoms to avoiding having shady business deals exposed in the press, according to a leaked US government diplomatic cable.

The damning description of China’s secretive leadership machinations also described how the descendants of China’s Communist revolutionaries – known as “princelings” – derided officials from less august revolutionary backgrounds as mere “shopkeepers”.

The assessment of what motivates China’s opaque top-level decision-makers was relayed to Washington in July 2009 in one of the 250,000 cables published by the WikiLeaks website.

“China’s top leadership had carved up China’s economic ‘pie,’” the US embassy contact said, “creating an ossified system in which ‘vested interests’ drove decision-making and impeded reform as leaders maneuvered to ensure that those interests were not threatened.” The US embassy contact also asserted there were no “reformers” within the top Communist Party leadership, only competing factions that sought to protect their business empires from attack by in-coming leaderships.

The source said that it was “well known” that former Chinese premier Li Peng and his family controlled China’s “electric power interests” while the country’s security tsar Zhou Yongkang controlled the state monopoly of the oil sector.

The wife of China’s premier Wen Jiabao, a popular figure in China often affectionately referred to as “grandpa Wen” for his feelings for the common man, is said to control China’s “precious gems” sector, while Jia Qinglin, ranked fourth in the Politburo, has “major Beijing real estate developments”.

the rest of the article is here

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Disasters and odd reactions to them:
Twisters Leave Dozens Dead, Destruction in 6 States

Severe Storms' Death Toll Rises to 9 in 2 States

1 Year Later: Could BP Spill Actually Save the Gulf Coast?

Japan Mulls Strictly Enforcing Evacuation Zone Near Plant

Wildfires Rage Across Texas, Scorch Over 1 Million Acres

Cheap Summer Power Predicted for the U.S.

Click here: Arcadia "tree-sitters" get some Hollywood treatment - Whittier Daily News

LOS ANGELES - Hollywood supporters Tuesday called on prosecutors to drop a trespassing case against a group of tree sitters who've become known as the "Arcadia 4."

Actors Ed Begley Jr. and Daryl Hannah (tacitly providing a note of Nordic superiority :-}) said the four should not face charges for climbing into old-growth oaks on Jan. 12 while bulldozers destroyed an 11-acre woodland around them.

"They are heroes in my mind, for sitting in those beautiful trees, as (crews) were trying to cut them down," Begley said at a rally of supporters outside Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley's downtown headquarters.

Hundreds of old-growth oaks and sycamores were destroyed as part of a Los Angeles County Public Works Department flood-control project to clear the land and spread sediment dredged from Santa Anita Dam and other debris basins.

Begley said he wasn't discounting safety concerns.

"But there are gravel pits to put the debris in - spend the extra money and time to do that," he said, later adding that he'd "pony up" himself.

The Arcadia 4 - John Quigley, 50, of Glendale; Julia Jaye Posin, 23, of Venice Beach; Travis Jochimsen, 28, of Lancaster; and Andrea Bowers, 45, of Los Angeles - pleaded not guilty to one count each of trespassing and obstructing a police officer in Alhambra Superior Court on March 23.

All four rejected an offer of community service and payment of restitution from the DA's office and will appear in court again on Friday for a pre-trialhearing.

In a statement Tuesday, Cooley spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the tree-sitters had been extended a "reasonable case settlement."

"Those who engage in civil disobedience should accept the consequences of their acts if they disobey the law," Gibbons' statement said.

Other protesters were not arrested, she said, and the four were taken into custody and charged with trespass when they refused to leave the trees.

Camron Stone, a longtime neighbor of the woodland south of the Santa Anita Dam, said its destruction has raised awareness and organized opposition to other planned county projects.

"It's been a rallying point - there's a whole lot of support out there for what we're doing," said Stone, who is pushing for an investigation of the public works process in the Arcadia woodlands project.

"I think people are really starting to get the message," he said.

Stone pointed to the watchdog Urbanwild Network formed to improve communication between environmental and civic groups. They include the Altadena Crest Trail Restoration Working Group, Pasadena Audubon Society, the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy, the Sierra Club in Pasadena, California Oaks, the Pasadena Garden Club and the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of the Native Plant Society.

"Local people do care about the wildlands in their back yards that are disappearing at an incredible rate," Stone said.

"The next thing we're facing is Hahamongna," he later said of the county's plans to clear 1.6 million cubic yards of debris from Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena's Hahamongna Watershed Park.

The Urbanwild Network has listed Hahamongna as one of the "five most endangered urban wildlands" in the foothills of L.A. County. The others are the remaining 10 acres of Arcadia woodland; La Tuna Canyon, where plans are to clear woodland for sediment disposal; Whittier Narrows Natural Area, where plans were to build a $22-million water museum and parking lot; and development of Aliso Canyon Park in Granada Hills.

Hannah, who attended the protest at the "incredibly gorgeous" Arcadia woodland in January, said its destruction had raised awareness of other places at risk.

It served to "remind people there's something we can do" in holding public officials' decisions up to scrutiny, she said, "and to make wiser decisions than the death of natural systems."

Click here: Kyrgyz Parliament Sacrifices 7 Sheep For Evil Spirits

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan's raucous parliament have sacrificed seven sheep in what they call a bid to drive evil spirits out of the chamber.

Parliament press officer Shairbek Mamatoktorov said almost all the deputies attended Thursday morning's traditional ceremony. He says meat from the slaughtered animals will be sent to homes for the elderly and the disabled.

The impoverished Central Asian nation's fragile three-party coalition has descended into a flurry of squabbling. Deputies from two parties in the fragile coalition government even came to blows earlier this month and traded bitter accusations.

This month marked the first anniversary of a bloody uprising that led to the ouster of the country's authoritarian leader.


(Donald Trump in secret:) I wonder if that'll work? I wonder if Joan Rivers and Gary Busey know? Got to try it!! What could it hurt? Maybe if I push 'em off Trump Tower - note to self: Get Apprentices to file their hooves and bung up their holes so they don't mess up the freight elevator on the way up. - Maybe they'll take out some otherwise useless bums when they hit below. That would be sooooooo KEWL!! Them spirits gotta like that! ...What if somebody gets pissy about it? What if they give me flack about it? Could I take them out? Naw, I only gotta blame Obama!

(Donald Trump in public:) While Kyrgyzstan has heretofore marched boldly from a Soviet satellite economy based on handwoven grit-encrusted wool products to a dynamic Free Market based on unrestricted trade in old Soviet military hardware, it is to be regretted that they are slipping back to socialist modes of state-provided red meat for those who are only Permanent Dregs on Society.


The Prophet: Now keep the Donald ever far from thy ewe lambs...Which thou shouldst have done all along, anyway!

Which leads to:
Why Trump Soars


Published: April 18, 2011

Very few people have the luxury of being freely obnoxious. Most people have to watch what they say for fear of offending their bosses and colleagues. Others resist saying anything that might make them unpopular.

But, in every society, there are a few rare souls who rise above subservience, insecurity and concern. Each morning they take their own abrasive urges out for parade. They are so impressed by their achievements, so often reminded of their own obvious rightness, that every stray thought and synaptic ripple comes bursting out of their mouth fortified by impregnable certitude. When they have achieved this status they have entered the realm of Upper Blowhardia.

These supremely accomplished blowhards offend some but also arouse intense loyalty in others. Their followers enjoy the brassiness of it all. They live vicariously through their hero’s assertiveness. They delight in hearing those obnoxious things that others are only permitted to think.

Thus, there has always been a fan base for the abrasive rich man. There has always been a market for books by people like George Steinbrenner, Ross Perot, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Bobby Knight, Howard Stern and George Soros. There has always been a large clump of voters who believe that America could reverse its decline if only a straight-talking, obnoxious blowhard would take control.

And today, apparently, Donald Trump is that man. Trump, currently most famous for telling people that they are fired, has surged toward the top of the presidential primary polls. In one poll, he was in (remote) striking distance in a head-to-head against President Obama. Many people regard Trump as a joke and his popularity a disgrace. But he is actually riding a deep public fantasy: The hunger for the ultimate blowhard who can lead us through dark times.

He is riding something else: The strongest and most subversive ideology in America today. Donald Trump is the living, walking personification of the Gospel of Success.

It is obligatory these days in a polite society to have a complicated attitude toward success. If you attend a prestigious college or professional school, you are supposed to struggle tirelessly for success while denying that you have much interest in it. If you do achieve it, you are expected to shroud your wealth in locally grown produce, understated luxury cars and nubby fabrics.

Trump, on the other hand, is utterly oblivious to such conventions. When it comes to success, as in so many other things, he is the perpetual boy. He is the enthusiastic adventurer thrilled to have acquired a gleaming new bike, and doubly thrilled to be showing it off.

He labors under the belief — unacceptable in post-modernist, environmentally and politically aware polite society — that two is better than one, and that four is better than two. If he can afford a car, a flashy one is better than a boring one. In private jets, lavish is better than dull. In skyscrapers, brass is better than brick, and gold is better than brass.

This boyish enthusiasm for glory has propelled him to enormous accomplishment. He has literally changed the landscape of New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas and many places in between. He has survived a ruinous crash and come back stronger than ever.

Moreover, he shares this unambivalent attitude toward success with millions around the country. Though he cannot possibly need the money, he spends his days proselytizing the Gospel of Success through Trump University, his motivational speeches, his TV shows and relentlessly flowing books.

A child of wealth, his taste is more at home with the proletarian immigrants and the lower-middle-class strivers, who share his straightforward belief in the Gospel of Success, than he is among members of the haute bourgeoisie, who are above it. Like many swashbuckler capitalists, he is essentially anti-elitist.

Now, I don’t mean to say that Donald Trump is going to be president or get close. There is, for example, his hyper-hyperbolism and opportunism standing in the way.

In 2009, Trump published a book with a very Trumpian title: “Think Like a Champion.” In that book, he praised Obama’s “amazing” and “phenomenal” accomplishments. “Barack Obama proved that determination combined with opportunity and intelligence can make things happen — and in an exceptional way,” Trump gushed.

Now he spouts birther nonsense and calls Obama the worst president in American history. Now he leads rallies that make Michele Bachmann events look like the League of Women Voters. Even angry American voters want some level of seriousness, prudence and self-control.

But I do insist that Trump is no joke. He emerges from deep currents in our culture, and he is tapping into powerful sections of the national fantasy life. I would never vote for him, but I would never want to live in a country without people like him. 

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on April 19, 2011, on page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: Why Trump Soars.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Damn Unlikely Disasters

Just a quick groaning note in these mega-disastered times:

Is it HAARP?  Is it Planet X or sompin misalligning Earth's orbit?  Is it the Almighty doing a major number on account of our pre-Flood-like murderousness 'n' stuff, or...
Whatever it is, I'm old enough to remember when particular kinds of (allegedly natural) disasters kept to their own regions.  Earthquakes in Nevada and Argentina?  Tornadoes crossing mountain ranges to go from Oklahoma where the wind usually went sweepin cros the plain - to Virginia and the Carolinas?  DIDN'T HAPPEN BEFORE.  What's next?  Blizzards in Benin?  Tsunamis in Sioux City?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bam & Boehner Smile at Budget Brilliance; Only LIVES on Block

Who gets the money? The military-industrial complex, the SEC, dreamathonic programs of education and high-speed tech (how many billion$ and years will go just to 'study committees'?). What gets butchered? Health programs and repairing the lethally crumbling infrastructure. Just like WAR itself, it's all about (1) increasing and consolidating the power of the elites - the Plutonomy (as Citibank's leaked secret memo appropriately put it~ The memo's essence: At this time, there is no longer any real impediment to achievement of the ideal that the richest 1% of the World's population can hold the rest in utter thralldom except 'one man, one vote') and their syncophant minions and (2) reduction of 'excess' population.

Nothing lost the last presidential election for McCain more than the fear that he would be 'Bush Lite'.  Maybe we should have wised up in the precious election when we we given the choice between two flaccid-scion old money elite warmonger hypocrite puppet Bonesmen ...I think of 'election choices' in the Soviet Union... At any rate, we seem to have had no choice except (letter-scramble fun!) BUSH LITE.

Click here: Budget Tricks Helped Obama Save Favorite Programs From Cuts

Andrew Taylor, AP

WASHINGTON -- Details of last week's hard-won agreement to avoid a government shutdown and cut federal spending by $38 billion were released Tuesday morning. They reveal that the budget cuts, while historic, were significantly eased by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.

Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs - Pell grants for poor college students, health research and "Race to the Top" aid for public schools, among others - from Republican knives.

And big holes in foreign aid and Environmental Protection Agency accounts were patched in large part. Republicans also gave up politically treacherous cuts to the Agriculture Department's food inspection program.

The full details of Friday's agreement were released early Tuesday Morning. They reveal a lot of one-time savings and cuts that officially "score" as cuts to pay for spending elsewhere, but often have little to no actual impact on the deficit.

As a result of the legerdemain, Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February when the chamber approved a bill slashing this year's budget by more than $60 billion. In doing so, the White House protected favorites like the Head Start early learning program, while maintaining the maximum Pell grant of $5,550 and funding for Obama's "Race to the Top" initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools.

Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including cuts to earmarks, unspent census money, leftover federal construction funding, and $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can't be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused spending authority from a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.

Still, Obama and his Democratic allies accepted $600 million in cuts to a community health centers programs, $414 million in cuts to grants for state and local police departments, and a $1.6 billion reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency budget, almost $1 billion of which would come from grants for clean water and other projects by local governments and Indian tribes.

The National Institutes of Health, which funds critical medical research, would absorb a $260 million cut, less than 1 percent of its budget, instead of the $1.6 billion cut sought by House Republicans. Family planning programs would bear a 5 percent cut rather than being completely eliminated.

Homeland security programs would have to take their first-ever cut, though much of the 2 percent decrease comes from a $786 million cut to first responder grants to state and local governments. The IRS would see its budget frozen but be spared the 5 percent cut sought by House Republicans.

About $10 billion of the cuts already have been enacted as the price for keeping the government open as negotiations progressed; lawmakers tipped their hand regarding another $10 billion or so when the House passed a spending bill last week that ran aground in the Senate.

For instance, the spending measure reaps $350 million by cutting a one-year program enacted in 2009 for dairy farmers then suffering from low milk prices. Another $650 million comes by not repeating a one-time infusion into highway programs passed that same year. And just last Friday, Congress approved Obama's $1 billion request for high-speed rail grants - crediting itself with $1.5 billion in savings relative to last year.

The underlying issue is long overdue legislation to finance the day-to-day budget of every Cabinet department, including the Pentagon, for the already half-completed 2011 fiscal year. The measure caps 2011 funding for such operating budgets at about $1.2 trillion.

About $10 billion of the cuts comes from targeting appropriations accounts previously used by lawmakers for so-called earmarks, those pet projects like highways, water projects, community development grants and new equipment for police and fire departments. Republicans had already engineered a ban on earmarks when taking back the House this year.

Republicans also claimed $5 billion in savings by capping payments from a fund awarding compensation to crime victims. Under an arcane bookkeeping rule - used for years by appropriators - placing a cap on spending from the Justice Department crime victims fund allows lawmakers to claim the entire contents of the fund as budget savings. The savings are awarded year after year.

Even before details of the bill came out, some conservative Republicans were assailing it. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said he probably won't vote for the measure, and tea party favorite Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is a "nay" as well.

The $38 billion in cuts, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., wrote on his Facebook page, "barely make a dent" in the country's budget woes.

Huelskamp and other conservatives are also upset that most conservative policy "riders" added by Republicans were dropped from the legislation in the course of the talks.

The White House rejected GOP attempts to block the EPA's ability to issue global warming rules and other reversals of environmental regulations. Obama also forced Republicans to drop an effort to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal funding, as well as GOP moves to stop implementation of Obama's overhauls of health care and Wall Street regulation.

The administration also thwarted a GOP attempt to block new rules governing the Internet, as well as a National Rifle Association-backed attempt to neuter a little-noticed initiative aimed at catching people running guns to Mexican drug lords by having regulators gather information on batch purchases of rifles and shotguns.

Anti-abortion lawmakers did, however, succeed in winning a provision to block taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia. And House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, won funding for a personal initiative to provide federally funded vouchers for District of Columbia students to attend private schools.

Instead of sharply cutting the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, both agencies would get increases under the legislation as they gear up to implement last year's overhaul of financial regulation. And renewable energy programs are cut $407 million below last year, almost 20 percent. The Army Corps of Engineers , which funds flood control and inland waterway projects, will absorb a $578 million cut, representing about 10 percent of its budget.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How to Plan a Budget: LIFE FIRST!

Rajiv Srinivasan's article, Friday, Apr. 08, 2011 from,8599,2064039,00.html#ixzz1IxPuh0DM :

My eyes always cringe at the sight of a homeless veteran. As I know the pains of war firsthand, it breaks my heart to see that people who have sacrificed so much for my freedom are suffering to such a degree. But it's comforting to know that groups like the American Legion Homeless Veterans Housing Project in Jewett City, Conn., have been renovating old buildings and turning them into shelters for veterans for quite some time. They've raised millions of dollars from private businesses and caring citizens. The federal government has even said it would chip in the monthly rent of $875 for 15 veterans each year and provide additional funds for construction.

Unfortunately, in the recent round of intense budget cuts in Congress, this small funding for the homeless-shelter project was slashed, along with a total of $75 million in homeless-veteran benefits. As both a veteran and an American, I don't believe that veterans' programs should ever be isolated from budget cuts. After all, if the nation is hurting, it is we veterans who have sacrificed and will sacrifice first to protect her. But when I turn the pages of the budget to find a $7.4 million guaranteed commitment to fund a U.S. Army NASCAR sponsorship — and $20 million more from the National Guard to do the same — my blood begins to boil. See a TIME photo-essay on the effects of war at home.

Advertising consultants may argue that the marketing statistics actually make the NASCAR project worthwhile, that it's great "bang for the buck" in getting the Army slogan in front of millions of young auto fans salivating at the masculine thrill of modern sport. But is this really what we've come down to in our military-recruitment strategy? Have we boiled down the science of appealing to the core of the most dedicated young Americans to simple ad placement? To more-forgiving critics, this is just a miscalculation. To me, it is a telling exposition of how removed our policymakers are from the personal narratives of the men and women who execute their orders.

Running on my 24th month as a platoon leader — 12 of them in combat — I have had the chance to hear each of my soldiers' life stories from before their enlistment. Some had seen tremendous success; others had seen horrific family pains I know I could never endure. When I ask my soldiers why they joined the Army, each of their answers is unique and far more sophisticated than a halftime commercial.

Michael's dad was once in the Special Forces in Vietnam, and there was a distance between them for some time. Michael joined the Army against his father's wishes to better understand him. Since then, their relationship has grown closer than ever.

Doug hadn't graduated high school and was already in a bad crowd that would have probably led him to an early death or jail time. When his father died, there was no one in his family bringing home a consistent paycheck. He knew he had to make something of his life. He joined the Army. (See TIME's photo-essay "Going Home from Iraq.")

Aaron is a college graduate, deeply interested in politics and energy independence. He chose not to do the ROTC because, in his words, adding up his enlistment bonus and the accelerated promotion points from his degree, it was more profitable for him to enlist than commission. He's now one of the most senior and respected NCOs in the company, as well as a loving husband and father.

America's service members are not one-dimensional people. The military's target audience — those who have the fortitude to sign on the dotted line — are not simpletons who will be called to action by a race car. They are smart. They are thoughtful. They are not children but grown men and women, and they deserve to be treated as such.

That being said, when a smart, young high school student from Connecticut is considering enlistment, what sort of "ad placement" do homeless veterans on his neighborhood block present? What does that high school student think when he sees veterans unemployed or without health insurance?

For many homeless veterans, residual emotional and psychological effects of war are what led to their unfortunate circumstances. When we fail to support our veterans in dire conditions, we present military service as an unsustainable lifestyle to our prime recruitment audience. Those potential enlistees will deduce that they can better care for their families and themselves in other professions — and our front lines will be weaker for it. Thus, this isn't just a veterans'-affairs issue but a national-security issue and should be regarded as one. With every soldier I've met, the common denominator in their decision to join the Army was a caring mentor whom they wanted to make proud. Rather than spending millions chasing stock cars to get attention, why don't we invest in the mentors — the American veteran heroes — who can sell the honor and fulfillment of military service better than any athlete ever could?

I truly hope the American Legion Homeless Veterans Housing Project continues its venture. In the meantime, the manner in which our senior policymakers conceive the psyches of the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who lay their lives on the line each day for this country needs a drastic shift. This oversimplification of our identities costs this nation money; it will eventually cost us military talent and perhaps even lives. If you know a soldier or veteran, don't just thank them for their service. Take the time to understand why they joined — and why they stayed — in the military. It's an issue we must all understand if we are to democratically influence the decisions that will protect our country. Otherwise, we'll just be driving in circles around the same problem for years to come.

Lieutenant Rajiv Srinivasan served for 12 months as a Stryker platoon leader in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010. He hails from Roanoke, Va.

I also read, from a friend's mail, a richly worthy article which went from the Wisconsin attempt to enslave public workers (my wrathy phrase, not that of the writer, superlative gentleman Larry James Gianakos/ lambros) to greater issues of the nation's tide, in which the author gave a gravely passionate account of his active trade uniomist father who enlisted to suffer in World War II, ans would take no government benefits that were offered him.  This man called his (political science major son) to the television as the news of the highjacked 2000 election hardened, and told him that everything he'd fought for had ended.  I was unable to find that article, but it seems to be developing into a series:  Indeed our coming Second Civil War.

I am certifiably sub-par; Rainman-in reverse in matters of mathematics and business transactions, but 'simplicity' and poverty can be instructive.  So can the Gospel of Jesus Christ - remember what He actually said, and how His Apostles began to organize the nascent Church?  Those bleedin' heart commies!!  Those deniers of Glenn Beck and Donald-Trump-who-built-a-cloud-cuddled-golden-temple-to-his-own-glory!!  If you dare to be so heretical as to try to get your cues from Jesus, you'll look at a budget by separating NEEDS (based on what actually and directly sustains physical life) from DESIRES (which may or may not be commendible but the warm-blooded vertebrate body can exist comfortably enough withoutPRIORITIZE LIFE.  No more warbux except to bring 'em home and care for them, and give them the jobs (if they can work) that are now given to foreigners.  Some of these jobs ought to be made by the government (not private contractors eating the taxpayer's agonized teats) with OSHA, collective bargaining, union oversight, - especially to repair dams, levees, bridges, gas mains; put the power grid underground and guard it; etc.  Don't pretend that affordable contraception is abortion - and if your religion tells you you shouldn't fund any kind of sexual protection except saying 'no', then become an activist for the succour of  the sick and impoverished (you'll probably find much much more in the texts you allegedly hold holy that calls for the aid and defense of the non-greedy truly needy than you will about corralling the genitals).  No more pretending that we need to sacifice more to the insatiable plutocracy that it might finally 'open is bowels of compassion' to Trickle Down and $aaaaaaaaaavvve us US.  No more pretending that pet schemes of 'investing in our children's future' with new computer labs and college freebies is as/more important than feeding them now.  Realizing NAFTA and Let It Burn and all the other guvmint doctrines to make desperation are from the sucking sadists of Planet Proctology, and get the hell rid of them (though if we could only make them pay reparations - !) ...See?... LIFE FIRST!  What an economic concept!