Everything Comes To An End. Sorry -- Just Like You And Me

Bill Clinton put it well: "The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change..." With that in mind, consider some of the epic changes that could be underway:

* Now that the wars on drugs have cost so much with so little success, society may be recalling the costly disaster that was Prohibition trying to over-legislate humanity's natural appetites [eg. medical marijuana stores continue to grow]

* Now that society has at long last stopped chaining the mentally ill and burning those it calls witches, it may finally be willing to enjoy the fact gays like geniuses may be different, but no more or less human [eg. for the first time US service members were authorized to march in gay parades in their uniforms]

* Now that MotherJones.com revealed the world's tax havens currently keep $21-32 trillion out of reach of the world's governments, society may start to reassess the relative power of "big government" and "big wealth" [eg. those havens hold more than the combined gross national products of the US & Japan]

* Now that the number of citizen deaths in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan have surpassed a million, society may re-learning the ancient truth: Wars like these are not fought for popular causes as much as for private interests [eg. the loss of innocent lives has been granted the antiseptically reassuring description "collateral damages"]

* Now that Congress is out of session, society has another reason to wonder about the value of "elected representatives" '[eg. so far it has sent to the president only 54 bills: 14 to rename post offices, nine to approve real estate transactions, and six simply to renew current legislation

With luck, some of these conditions may come to an end before we do. Maybe with more than luck. With effort!

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  • War on drugs: Beside the cost of the war on drugs, I am reminded that the tobacco settlement (with the cost passed on to the consumers) was supposed to curtail smoking. Then cigarette taxes were raised $3.00 a pack between Cook County and the state, and while not curtailing smoking, has sent some business to Indiana and the tax stamp counterfeiters. One has to wonder how much the county and state can make taxing a dying breed of addicts. Also, there has to be diminishing returns from gambling. My only conclusion: weed and prostitution will be legalized and taxed sooner than one thinks.

    Gays and the service: This apparently was no deterrent to drafting them, at least during Vietnam. Also, my understanding is that only what's tolerated is the belief; a member of the service still can be prosecuted under Article 125 of the UCMJ for pulling a Sandusky, even with a consenting adult.

    Tax havens: I don't agree with the argument made by some of the talking heads that if the feds amnesty the tax avoidance, the money actually will be repatriated.

    Syria: I'm sure that the only private cause there is that Assad knows that if he loses, he ends up instantly dead. like Khadaffi, dead after a trial like Saddam, or in the dock on a deathbed, like Mubarak. I guess knowing that he still has the armed forces behind him and the outside world won't intervene, that's fair odds. The real question is that while Russia is backing him to keep some toehold in the Middle East, is that worth it to them, if Assad is overthrown? That's the real self interest question.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack ~ Well stated. As for the private interests in Syria, my point is the same cynical one most observers have: The little people are simply fodder for the power brokers. Ever thus since the start of time. How tragic. How human...

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    They are at least target practice for the military. However, it doesn't seem like you say for what end.

  • I can only comment on your last word in regard all these issues Jack ... where I find myself in complete concurrence ... this will only change with "Effort".

  • In reply to Geezer:

    Effort -- easy to assert, so hard to do. And that, dear friends, is why civilization advances so slowly

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