We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When your FICA tax is taken out of your paycheck, it does not get squirreled away in some lockbox in West Virginia where it's kept until you and your contemporaries retire. Most goes out immediately to pay current retirees, and the rest (say, $100) goes to the U.S. Treasury - and is spent. On roads, bridges, national defense, public television, whatever - spent, gone.
--love reading theoreticals about Civil War tactics --but this one is a little facile --Lee's objective was the Army of the Potomoc, AKA the AOP. He had just in the last several engagements whipped it handily, more handily each tiime, culminating at Chancellorsville, which just preceded Gettysburg, and was perhaps the south's best-fought battle of the war.
So Lee had come near breaking AOP up at least twice. Hence he wanted to get it to battle (as he told Longstreet, "The enemy is here and this is where we shall fight him"), break it up, send it routed back under DC's guns --and then demand the peace table to get the succession ratified by the Lincoln govt.
What he didn't count on was the steep learning curve of AOP --that AOP was by then sick and tired of losing battles to its own generals, and was thus, in the Gettysburg situation of static defense, a pent-up tiger.
I've been studying the faces and behavior of the rowdy noisy demonstrators at the Madison capitol building and what startles me most is that I can't believe that people who look and act like dumb thugs can possibly marshal enough intelligence to get a degree in education. Anywhere. If these guys are indeed teaching Wisconsin children, I think Wisconsin parents should protest, vigorously and often, and consider placing their children in Catholic schools, private schools or home schooling them. The only thing their children will learn from these thugs is how to be one.
RE Karzai wanting NATO troops to leave Afghanistan. Perhaps we should take him up on his suggestion. Then no more money for Afghan politicos to steal. Perhaps the solution is to leave both Afghanistan and Pakistan, so there is no more US aid money for the politicians to steal, and quarantine bothcountries. Turn both countries into no-fly zones. No air flights in or out. Ditto ship traffic.
That way the jihadi pipeline between Great and Britain and Pakistan would be cut.
Gringo ... I have been advocating cutting all American funds to Pakistan for weeks now, since they are holding in jail, and probably torturing, one of our citizens who was captured having shot back at thieves who tried to rob him in Pakistan. Our citizen was traveling under a diplomatic passport which, according to the civilized nations of the world, makes him immune to prosecution by the host country. Earlier, braver Administrations than our present one, would have told the Pakistan government," return our citizen or you don't get another penny."
Teddy Roosevelt won re-election on the slogan 'Perdicaris Alive or Raisuli dead' in a similar situation. But back then, our Presidents took seriously the protection of American citizens, wherever in the world they might travel. And if they were captured, we sent our brave Marines in after them.
Our Present President is too busy interfering in state labor disputes to care if Americans live or die under his Administration.