Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dan Carlin: Common Sense

Dan's latest episode of his current affairs has been out for a few days, but unfortunately I haven't found the time to blog about it.

In this episode Dan talks about the turmoil in Wisconsin, where the governor's attempt to weaken/destroy the public unions, has been met with a wave of theatrics that is undemocratic to say the least. Canadians, imagine that every single member of the Conservative caucus fled across the border to New Hampshire to avoid voting on the new budget!

It seems that Dan agrees with the Republicans on this issue, but can't really bring himself to admit it. So he attacks the Republicans for using demagoguery in order to weaken their political opponents (the public unions are unashamedly Democrat) and refusing to look at the area that really needs cuts, Defense. While Dan is write to a large extent, it doesn't take away from the current issue. Public unions do need busting. They have become such an influential player in the domestic politics of many countries and they are sucking at the public teat. Dan's comment on police officers notwithstanding, as they are not under Gov. Walker's plan.
The teachers however, are in fact, sucking at the public teat. Their salaries are increasing, they are practically unfireable and the public education system is down the drain.

In the second part of the show, Dan addresses defense cuts. He does not take an isolationist position, but rather suggests that the defense spendings should be restrained according to some yardstick. He gives Britain's naval calculus as an example. The problem is that such a yardstick is very difficult to create nowadays. America does not merely need to contend with a few major powers on a roughly equal scale of development. A buck spent by China on the military is not equivalent to a buck spent by the US.

I also don't think England's phase-out of the empire was very graceful. England has consciously gave up on a once glorious empire with a failed welfare state that destroyed its industries and put it on a fast track to catch up with Albania as Europe's poorest country. That's not before they managed to screw up almost all of their dominions (where white Anglo-saxons did not live, of course).

Otherwise, an interesting show as always!


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