Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Archive for November 11, 2013

Is It Hypocritical To Be Against “Socialism” But Accept Social Security And Medicare Benefits?

I certainly don’t care that people who are eligible receive Social Security and Medicare, but I think it is highly hypocritical to protest social programs while receiving benefits from social programs.

The Republicans and Tea Baggers favorite chant is how much they are against socialism and big government. And they love to be against any federal Program regardless to who the program helps or how much good the particular program does.

Many of the states with the worst unemployment situations and where peoples unemployment benefits are low or have run out are in the rural south, states like Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Arkansas, and those are the very states that are most in need of the cash assistance, food stamps, medical and housing assistance provided by the Federal government yet they tend to vote Republican year after year.

I have always wondered why that is? I think maybe it is the shame from having been on welfare or maybe it’s a reverse psychological thing, where those people know they will get it anyway despite having voted against it.

But for what ever reason they do vote Republican and they do take all of the handouts that the Federal Government provides.

To me they are nothing but hypocrites, who talk down the government as well as the programs that provide a little cash assistance to help provide food for many of their families, housing assistance to keep a roof over their families heads, as well as medical assistance which enables them to be cared for when they are sick or their child gets injured.

I don’t begrudge any Republican or their family that is down on their luck, and who in these tough times may have lost their jobs or had their family income severely reduced, the help that only the Federal Government is able to provide. Especially those Republicans who even in the best of times live in our poorest states , and to whom life on the public dole has become a way of life leading to a form of dependence on the Federal Government that last from generation to generation.

But what I do resent is that they act like all the help that they get from the government is something sinful, and what I don’t understand is if they hate it so much why do they take it at all?

I think I must be different than Republicans, because if I hated something as bad as they want us to believe they hate welfare and government ran social programs why are so many of the recipients of the benefits of those programs located in the so called Republican Red States?

…We should seriously look at where and why the resentment for the Federal Government social programs is really coming from. It is evident t hat the same people who complain about the cost to the American Tax payers are also some of the biggest users and recipients of food stamps and federal housing assistance. I think that instead of them carrying around racist posters and complaining about the government that a lot of so called Tea Baggers and Republicans simply need to get on the phone and call their case workers and get off welfare…It would be just that simple, and there really is no need for them to argue, march, or protest the government. Just give up those farm subsidies, tobacco subsidies, milk subsidies, get off welfare, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security and work till you are dead or unable.

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Ned Parfett: newsboy, soldier and photographic icon, died in World War I combat at the age of 22, six and a half years after this photo was taken in London, April, 1912.

Ned Parfett: newsboy, soldier and photographic icon, died in World War I combat at the age of 22, six and a half years after this photo was taken in London, April, 1912.


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German skirmishers approach the French lines during the Battle of Sedan, in what is possibly the first ‘combat photo’! Franco-Prussian War, 1870

German skirmishers approach the French lines during the Battle of Sedan, in what is possibly the first 'combat photo'! Franco-Prussian War, 1870

Notice the soldier near the right of the first line, arms extended. He appears to be dying or at least getting hit right when the photo was taken.

There was a very good reason to remain in real “lines” at the time. Breech-loading and repeating weapons were still brand-new; in combat, the old standard of three shots a minute was still more often true than not, and even against very modern soldiers you could probably expect, at best, ten shots a second from falling block, single shot bolt, and lever weapons; less than that, accounting for maneuvering. Magazine bolt-action rifles were still almost three decades from widespread deployment, the machine-gun didn’t exist, and the Gatling gun was a joke against a modern army which could engage it’s operators at rifle range.
That meant that in order to have a decisive weight of fire on enemy formations, you needed to have sufficient density of troops firing at once. If one side maintained a modern five-meter spread and hide behind every rock and bush they could find, the other side could very simply form into a big block, run at them with bayonets fixed, and break the line, then go gallivanting around stabbing their logistical elements.
Even then, you can already see the modern mindset taking hold in these soldiers, compared to what you might have seen sixty years earlier in the Napoleonic War. Notice two distinct skirmish lines, with the reserve line maintaining firing positions. Officers on foot congregating on the ends of lines in cover rather than behind the line on horseback, to direct fire rather than steel the line against a charge. And, most importantly, notice just how many skirmishers are in this picture, in similar numbers to the line group moving up beside them! A few decades ago, skirmishers made up barely a tenth of any line unit!
And yes, there are bodies on the ground. It’s war! We don’t see bodies on the ground in modern fighting not because there are less casualties but because war is much faster and more spread out now. When this photo was taken, soldiers died in the hundred meters between two battle-lines, and a battle could only advance at the pace of men or horses walking, so naturally you had lots of bodies clumped together in a relatively small space. Nowadays, soldiers engage at three hundred plus meters with assault rifles, and artillery duels and rages at tens of kilometers. Aircraft hit targets hundreds of meters behind the lines. Armoured thrusts travel in days what would take an army weeks to cross in combat conditions a hundred years ago. So engagements are limited to bursts, on the run, over entire provinces and countries with a tenth of the forces from a hundred years ago putting out a thousand times the ordinance.
It’s very easy to look at this and see amateur or incompetent command; modern observers of the First World War often do the same thing. But you don’t realize that this was the world in the grips of massive technological, logistical and doctrinal changes, and that formations like these were cutting edge and maintained for a very good reason. Believe it or not, you are not smarter than a professional officer of the era.