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Krone, Drones and Northwoods Loons…It’s Tuesday Here

Phil Krone 3 August 2010 No Comment

Months ago it was leaked that Leon Panetta was called out of a White House Meeting so he could personally authorize using a drone missile to eliminate a high ranking Al Quaeda operative. He signed off, even though it also meant killing the wife of the target. And this was reported as if it were the end of the day Dow Jones averages.

After that reportage we were told about the Russian spies in New York and New Jersey, something I still haven’t been able to figure out. What were they spying on? What valuable information were they getting? They seemed live average American suburbanites. Some of their kids didn’t even know they weren’t Americans. And for whom they were traded? It didn’t seem to cause any commotion whatsoever. This was no Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg situation.

Then two weeks ago the Washington Post did a big three part expose on our espionage operation replete with huge budgets, numerous facilities, not easily knowing who reported to whom and for what. A week later the New Yorker ran a long think piece congratulating the Post.

More yawns.

I’m all for having sufficient intelligence; but I’d like it to be rational and useful. I’d also like to share it with our allies, even Russia and China, so we can save money and avoid duplicating. We have to assume in the age of Google and GPS that everyone knows pretty much about everything, and that there isn’t enough time to digest all the information we harvest.

Our enemies are terrorists, who engage in or want to be able to engage in nuclear, biological or chemical warfare. I don’t blame these UFOs if they come from distant solar systems to leave us alone. Maybe they’ve decided to be content with DVDs and coffee table books, and not get involved with our noodnik escapades.

I think we’re getting to the point where we don’t know what the answers are because we don’t know the right questions.

Please forgive me for being confused and if anyone can enlighten me without going ballistic ideologcally with ultra pejorative language I really would appreciate it.

Employment and Unemployment

I’m not sure if employment or unemployment are adequate terms. I do know that everyone needs the ability to sustain themselves and their families in terms of providing for shelter, food, clothing, education, health care, vacations, entertainment, etc.

I also know that it takes many fewer people to provide everything we need than it did 100, 200 or 300 years ago, and that we have the benefits of central heating, flushtoilets and antibiotics that Kings and Empresses did not have in the `1700’s. Bluntly, I’d rather be me than Napoleon.

Taxation and Fairness

I’m not a capitalist, communist or socialist. I don’t believe that taxes should be confiscatory or punishing. I believe in rewarding hard work, talent and inventiveness.

At the same time I believe in paying bills, living within ones means, having fair interest rates, and accepting the idea that rights call for responsibilities.

Several months ago I hear of a comparatively shocking situation. People living in public housing were way behind in their rents but still managed to be able to hire maid service. Is there something wrong there?

I’m getting tired over all of the liberal/conservative debate. What we seem to be missing is well balanced common sense.

Pretty soon the election debates will begin focusing; not just on personalities or ideology but results oriented policies and programs.

I’m looking forward to that, but this weekend I’m looking even more forward to a five days in the North Woods with the real loons.

Phil Krone is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

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