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General David H. Petraeous, Commander of the troops in Afghanistan was recently asked about the situation on the ground there. He referred to it as "fragile and reversible." After ten years, loss of many young soldiers  and a trillion plus dollars it’s still fragile and reversible!? Why are we still there? Fragile and reversible seems to be pretty much where we started.  

I would say that also holds true with the US Government in Washington DC. That mess is also fragile and reversible. We avoided going off the edge in the 2008 crash by bailing out the banks with money that had to be borrowed or printed. Yet, with the extension of the Bush tax cuts and the expansion of our wars to four (that we know about), the situation on the ground today remains fragile and most likely reversible, too. We've returned to the edge of the cliff and the earth is trembling.  

Even though the economy has shown slow but continual growth since President Obama's Stimulus and the bail out of General Motors and Chrysler, for which the president was crucified, defense spending is through the roof. There are still 50,000 troops in Iraq along with American private enterprise billing the Pentagon. Afghanistan has been ramped up. Now, we fly drones into Pakistan irritating a country who receives billion in aid and possesses nuclear weapons. They can’t defend against Al Queda without help? If not, stop sending them money! And now, we are involved in Libya, too?! NATO IS the USA for all practical purposes but it sounds good.

I heard a statement earlier this week in the Ryan budget battles that we must cut even more taxes for millionaires, billionaires and corporations because they create the small business jobs. In addition to education, fire and law enforcement already done on the state level, we must cut all social programs and privatize Medicare with $15,000 vouchers to buy insurance in the market place. That will make the Insurance Lobbies very happy. The Ryan plan which ended up passing the house, attempts to assuage the voting seniors by promising it won't affect them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out thatif you are age 54 or younger be prepared and stay healthy! That's going to make those folks still in the work force not too kindly toward seniors living on and on and on, I fear. I'm not sure I will be able to look my sons in the face if I live too long! They are only in their forties. What’s that going to do for incentive?  

Defense, however, isn't on the table. After all, another war may come along and we have weapons to sell, bombs to drop. That's the number one manufacturing product we still have! The Military/Industrial Complex IS our economy. Now I understand why WWII lifted us out of the Great Depression. Now, I understand why we've become the world's police force. Even a president who campaigned on bringing our troops home and closing military prisons on foreign lands cannot hold true to their word. President Obama has increased wars and defense spending. Was he naive during the campaign? He voted against the war in Iraq, after all. Has he discovered you simply can’t fight these entrenched politicians and lobbies? Or has he been a fraud all along too!? It’s scary to me.  

The troops seem to be but pawns on the Economic Chess Board. And, I believe, so are we the citizens. Your choice of political party is irrelevant. There's not a nickel's worth of difference when the coins all hit the table. Each and every politician has to answer to their financial donors. With the money needed to get elected, they can't own much of their own soul once sworn in. I donated to my candidate of choice last time and so did millions of others. I can't speak for them, but I won't donate again. I cannot compete with a corporation that the Supreme Court has declared are persons, too.

But, I'm a Nature romantic. Hope dies hard for the eternal optimist; not sure I am one anymore, greed and power mongering seems to have taken over the mind of humankind, become the driving force. But I can't give up on my faith in the power of Nature. There is a statement I heard once made by a Nature activist. It's appropriate for Florida. "Hurricanes don't kill people; their possessions do." That would apply to most every natural 'Act of God.' We broke the Natural Law when we overpopulated the planet and lost respect for the other life forms. Budgets, like survival of the species require balance. I don't believe that the Creator will tolerate Earth's destruction. It's not on the table. We are.


 **Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, contract copy editor, and book reviewer. She is a columnist for The Florida Writer the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, and serves as Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. She is a frequent contributor to the Fox and Quill out of San Diego and the Infinite Writer e-zines and the political columnist for Fabulously 40 and Beyond also out of San Diego.  

The audio version of her novel “Rainy Day People” was awarded in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various newsletters and local papers, and is Founder and Designer of a Spiritual website dedicated to Nature. Her third book, “Amber Returns to Maine and Other Songs of the Soul” was released in March 2010. All are available on

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Apr 17, 2011
    • Ditto Eva!!!!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Apr 17, 2011
    • Well said!!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Apr 19, 2011
    • The fact that it takes so many millions of dollars to even run for president, etc., is fundamentally wrong. As long as it takes that kind of money and the wealthy are standing by to hand it over knowing they will be repaid in the matter of power, then the curruption will never stop. How could any elected (really?) official not feel obligation to those who fund their election? Paybacks can be hell.

      When I see a war that lasts for so many years I always question if the USA really wants to win a war that lasts for ten years. If they really wanted to win it they could put the resources forth and get it done! Keeping it going for years on end just looks like so much business. It seems to me the last war the USA was in it to win was World War II.

      Yes, it seems to me that our government has become a giant corporation rather than a representation of the best interests of all of the people. If it were for the people, why would there be homeless right here in our own country? Why would we fall so far behind the rest of the world in education and health care? I think we have lost our vision and a lack of respect for that which requires our care (the earth and the animal kingdom) and from that loss comes decimation.  

      The wealthy and powerful need to not forget the basic needs all people have, even those without money. What would it be like if the government quit caring for the aged, the veteran, the sick and disabled, and those people then became homeless. How would this country then deal with millions of homeless people? As the middle class disappears, and the statistics show that a vast number of Americans are now on the poverty level, and a very few are wealthy, just how far down do you think the people will be driven before there is another civil war? Isn’t what is happening in the middle east a picture of what could happen here so easily?

      There will come a time when the wealthy will try to trade their bars of gold for a loaf of bread and a fresh cup of water, but none will be found. I can only hope that those who have leadership roles try to remember they still have the basic needs for survival and when their money will not buy it they will be among the poorest of the poor.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Apr 20, 2011
    • Great response, Midnight! I really like your digestion of my column. I agree, without respect the day will come when a bar of gold will be worthless compared to that cup of clean water and a piece of bread. The homeless will then be in a better position than the spoiled silver-spooners. They’ve already learned to survive on the street. Yes, it’s true. What goes around does come back around. We live in a cyclic Universe.

      I do shudder at what we are passing on to the next generations, though. I’ve grown rather glad my sons chose not to have children as bad as I wanted to be a grandma.
      Instead, now I embrace my dear ‘shelter’ grandpup, BB McPup. The Rehab I was in was pet friendly. McPuppers, as I call him, was like a healing angel parading around visiting other patients. It was as if he understood everyone wasn’t ‘feeling well’ The nurses told me she saw one lady smiling broadly who hadn’t smiled in months. Amazing what a little respect and kindness can accomplish. Even when it comes from a discarded pure-bred Pit Bull puppy. He’s two now and nothing but a bundle of love. His story is on my website. (Just a personal aside. I don’t do this often.)
      Best, Susan

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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Apr 20, 2011
    • I appreciate both of your insights. I can’t even keep track of the wars this country involves itself in and the reasons why. Viatnam was a mistake and here we go again! WWII was war that had a purpose and saved many countries. But what is it with wars now but just intent of world power statements?  

      I think the US is the last country that should be puffing its chest up as a world power. We have so much going on here at home that is such a mess.  


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Apr 20, 2011
    • That is so Awesome that your pitbull grandpup was a friend to the people at rehab. :) Talk about breaking the molded image of a pitbull! It just goes to show what love and respect can do. Animals have a sixth sense about a person’s true identity.

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