Opinion: Doug Thompson and Daddy Warbucks

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Bring it on
By Doug Thompson

The Senate didn’t adopt a resolution on escalating the Iraq War because it couldn’t avoid a filibuster on the issue.
Let them filibuster. Put it on C-Span, hour after hour and day after day. I want to see this. I want to see Senators standing up one at a time, trying to justify this buildup. I want the cameras rolling so bits and pieces of their droning can be used in the next election.
What is a filibuster anyway? It’s a debate where one side won’t leave the floor and won’t shut up. It’s a hostage-taking tactic designed to hold up government business.
Let the filibuster delay other action. Let them shut the government down if they really think sending more troops and more debt-financed money over there is so worthwhile. Let them stand up for it. Let them do something besides perpetuate the status quo.
We need to either win this war or get out. We need to show resolve by raising taxes, showing some sacrifice and having a home front too or we need to leave. Squatting where we’re at gets our troops killed for nothing and bankrupts us.
Passing resolutions against troop buildups send the “wrong message,” we’re told. Squatting in the dirt for four years, hanging on until wishful thinking turned into delusion and keeping our tax cuts sends a message too, a louder one. The idea the Senate has any “message” anybody will believe  or care about is laughable. Here’s a bulletin, Senators. Neither terrorists nor Iraq resistance nor ethnic gangs in Iraq give the slightest damn what resolutions you pass or don’t pass. Your actions — or lack of it as you left the country drift along under unquestioned, incompetent leadership — speaks much louder.
Here’s another bulletin. Jihadists and anti-Americans of all stripes can read polls. Give our worst enemies some credit. They know you. They know you’re cowards who only care about two things: Getting re-elected and being in the majority party, in that order. They know you won’t buck the polls long.
Our open society is no weakness. It is a great strength. It keeps us from staying in wars just because our leaders are stubborn and blind.
About 2,450 years before there was such a thing as a scientific poll, Sun Tzu said there are five fundamental factors in any war. The first is harmony between the leader and the people. Another is the commander and his virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and discipline. A third is the cost. The other two are weather and terrain, which are neutral.
Add it up.
Sun Tzu’s also the guy famous for saying that there is no instance of a nation benefiting from protracted war. He also wrote something about how the secret of success in war is foreknowledge — or good intelligence, in modern terms.
It’s all in his book, “The Art of War.” You Senators ought to read it some time. It’s short. You could finish it during flights on your way home to tell your constituents how we need to be stubborn and blind.
Speaking of being blind, I love the way that the president keeps talking about how Iran is sending explosives to their sympathizers. It’s cynical humor, but notice how he never mentions how the most fanatic of his blood brothers in Saudi Arabia send explosives to their flunkies in Iraq. Also, consider that Shi’a in what is now Iran have sent support to Shi’a in what is now Iraq for 1,400 years. Yet he’s angry about this. He must be one frustrated guy, especially since his war destroyed a major enemy of — and counterweight to — Iran.
Oh, by the way, the biggest news in the Iraq War as of Monday is on the website of the New York Times (www.nytimes.com.) They’ve found oil on Sunni territory, probably a lot of it.
Much of the reason the Sunnis, Shi’a and Kurds can’t agree on a way to leave each other alone is because the Kurds and Shi’a have all the oil. If the Sunnis have their own, it is possible — possible — that some sort of federal system with substantial self-rule by each section might work. They’d need a powerful ally — us — to protect them against Iran, but we can do that.
Daddy Warbucks

UKAN ORDR YONU VANTY TAGS ONLYNE
Daddy W. was amazed, this week, when the Great State of Arkansas announced that you can now go on the World Wide Web, (aka the Internet) and order your vanity license plate from the state. Wooo Pig Sooie! There is a $3 fee and the current $25 extra charge for having your own personalized plate. The website is www.arkansas.gov. Follow the cybertrail laid down.
Those vanity tags are something else. Looks like more than 4,000 vanity tags are issued each and every year and there are now more than 27,881 Arkansans with a vanity plate on their vehicle. Are you gonna be next? The
site, will not, however, let your creative mind run free. Sexually explicit tags will not be accepted and you can’t order up Top Hog – that one has already taken. But play around and you might find a vanity plate that meets your needs. All at the click of a mouse – that little button attached to the computer by a cord.

BIG SPENDING
Mayor Dan Coody delivered to one of his strongest set of supporters last week when he spoke to allow more than $1 million in Advertising and Promotion taxes to be spent on the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and for improvement on the downtown square gardens. The allotment, as far as A&P monies go, seems like a good cause. It really doesn’t take the mayor’s okay to get the cash, but he is always glad to stand in on a good thing. What elected mayor isn’t glad to do that?

PROMISE NO. 1
Governor Mike Beebe delivered on his No. 1 campaign promise – to whack the sales tax on groceries  by three cents. The cuts, experts say, can possibly deliver almost $240 annually back into the pockets of a family of four. It was a good move, since the brotherhood and some other groups, want a power grab for any extra state funds in Little Rock. Gov. Beebe delivered. How strong is that? Pretty darn strong.
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BANK DE MEXICO – YIEE
Looks like the Bentonville gang–Wal-Mart – - isn’t going to have any trouble establishing a national clearing house bank south of the border. Nothing like the fiasco that has plagued them in setting up a similar bank in the United States of America. The Mexican government is glad to allow Wal-Mart to have its own commercial bank in Mexico. And now we wait to
see if the tempers cool for the same here in the U.S. of A.

UA HITS MARK
The advancement team up on the hill at the University of Arkansas posted some pretty impressive numbers. They’ve raised 69 percent of their goal in six months – that’s pretty good. The overall goal is $76.9 million for
this year. To date, the UA says breathlessly – they have raised $1.046 billion dollars. Pretty amazing for a state supported school.

BRANCH DELAYS
The State, under a new law, has delayed applications for any more branch banks for the next seven weeks. This may allow for land purchases and builders to catch up with the permits here in Northwest Arkansas. Seriously, the new rules will allow any bank in the state to put a branch wherever—well almost wherever—they want to. Watch for more branches of your favorite bank to pop up here, there and everywhere.

Daddy Warbucks reports on the local business scene. Send comments and tips to daddyw@freeweekly.com or comment at www.freeweekly.com.

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