Values...

It is not simply the "wealth of nations" for which a soldier fights? The efficacy of military adventures for dubious "profits" does not figure much in the calculations of Republican hawks (who promote fearful preemption of dubious dangers as somehow "gainful"). No one believes that the "labor theory of value" (pay) for military work/service is only a matter of the "marginal productivity" necessary for development of capital ("wealth"); but somehow, in my opinion, the exploitation/subversion of civilian labor has resulted in "value of exchange" (money) outweighing the "utility" of employment in-itself, in the popular imagination - workers (especially public sector workers) are economic "soldiers" whose service should be respected, I think. The costs of war has been prominent in public discussion, while the costs of retrogression of public services has not.

Not Forgotten...

Why have military suicides per year outstripped deaths from enemy attacks over a decade, I wonder? PTSD, brain injury, multiple-deployment stresses, socio-economic disadvantages, etc. for tens of thousands of military personnel should worry us much more than budgetary constraints - as I am sure these problems worry military staff officers. But, the dismissal of the anguish of private citizens, that is typical of venture capitalism (privateers) is somehow thought acceptable for public-service officers. We must not overlook the sacrifices of both public and private "workers".

Advance...

Why did Republicans (Ryan) vote against Simpson-Bowles (while the President did use it as the framework for his "balanced approach" plan that Republicans rejected); except for their mindless objection to increased revenues? Our mutual "interest" (betterment) is the very reason for government to which I think "lawless-market" fundamentalists object. I argue that the perpetual renewal of the social compact/trust (American form of governance), negates the individualist attitude to society (simple collectivity) which seems to inform the conservative perspective. When did highways, bridges, schoolhouses, teachers, courts and maintenance work become less "valuable" than tax breaks for the wealthy? Why does no one laugh when Mr. Cantor proclaims that government cannot create jobs - by defrayal for private contracts, lending to small businesses, hiring school teachers, and paying his salary, for instance?

Retreat...

Mortgage derivative speculation and hedging WERE unregulated leveraging excesses that drove the economy to the edge of a cliff, and saying that the government somehow encouraged (rather than did not well restrain) it is no excuse for allowing it. Systemic risk (whether banks or insurance companies) is undeniably dreadful and should be made more transparent and lessened, if possible, I say.

Pursuit of Happiness?...

Is pole dancing an offshoot of rhythmic gymnastics, or merely an excuse for more girls performing in spandex?

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The world we're leaving for today's teens...

Without immediate global action on climate change, today's teenagers will be forced to live with the consequences of our inaction. The World Bank has issued their third report of climate change, and it says that global temperatures could rise by as much as 4 degrees Celsius by the time today's teens hit their 80th birthday.