Archive for Monday, January 7, 2008

Be concerned about Pakistani nukes, not democracy

January 7, 2008


My New Year's resolutions:

I resolve to worry more about Pakistan's 75-weapon nuclear stockpile than about global warming. I am more worried about being incinerated by a loose nuke than I am about the water table rising a few feet.

Yet, I also resolve to worry more about global warming than about democracy in Pakistan. Democracy is wonderful, but only for people who want it and who are willing to play by its rules. Democracy without self-discipline is a formula for, well, Pakistan.

I further resolve to focus more on who gets into America from scary countries - such as Pakistan. And I wish the federal government would do so, too, although I am not confident. For example, four months after 9/11, in January 2002, a Pakistani by the name of Shabbir Ahmed, holding a long record of pro-terrorist/anti-American statements, was given a "religious worker" visa and allowed to come to the United States and lead a mosque in Lodi, Calif.

Was that such a good idea? Apparently not. In 2005, Ahmed, suspected of keeping up his terrorist ties, was arrested and finally deported.

So maybe the Department of Homeland Security can have its own resolution: to err on the side of caution on behalf of protecting Americans, not on the side of free expression for jihadis.

I have more resolutions, specifically for this election year:

I resolve to support candidates in 2008 who take seriously what the preamble of the Constitution sets forth: "insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense." Speaking of which, I resolve to vote for people who understand that it's idiotic to send hundreds of billions of dollars a year in oil money to countries that alternate between disliking us and wanting to kill us. It's hard to find any nonlobbyist American who thinks that our current energy "policy" is a good idea, but it's hard to find a politician who speaks credibly of an alternative.

In addition, I resolve to support candidates who understand that there are two kinds of competitiveness: economic and military. And if I had to choose one, I'd choose the latter - military. I can deal with a recession, and so can you. But none of us can afford to lose a war.

If we need to spend more money on defense, so be it. But more to the point, we need to mobilize our technological and industrial base - and concentrate on keeping both here at home. Do you think it matters that Honda has built a robot that can play the violin? Do you think there's a military application to such niftyness? I do, and so do the Japanese. Imagine if we had 'bots on the ground in Iraq, as opposed to boots on the ground.

Finally, I resolve to love my country all the more, and to remember that freedom isn't free, that liberty isn't license, that democracy means keeping the fools out of power.

- Pinkerton is a columnist for Newsday. His e-mail address is <a href=""></a>.


freeordie 10 years, 3 months ago

Democracy?! We don't even have democracy here. Maybe Pakistan and the middle east don't want American capitalism and the world bank financial manipulation. Hell, we don't even have democracy here. A@@.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 3 months ago

BUSHCO War is a waste of money and lives. It has nothing to do with democracy. Since Bush dropped the ball on 9/11/01 and again by invading Iraq Al Qaeda has become more substantial than ever at it's home base in Pakistan so the presidental candidates say. Bin Laden more glorified than ever in Pakistan. Bring the troops home and let the mideast deal with al Qaeda if after all they support the group. Bush gave Pakistan $11 billion to fight Al Qaeda....instead Al Qaeda has somehow become stronger. Is the president a fool?

The USA is full of socialism so it is probably okay: utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a =============== How much of the health care dollar is publicly financed?Over sixty percent (60.5 percent) of health spending in the US is funded by government. Official figures for 2005 peg government's share of total health expenditure at 45.4 percent, but this excludes:

  1. Tax subsidies for private insurance, which cost the federal treasury $188.6 billion in 2004 and predominantly benefit wealthy taxpayers
  2. ================== ==================

    Government purchases of private health insurance for public employees such as police officers and teachers. Government paid private insurers $120.2 billion for such coverage in 2005: 24.7 percent of the total spending by US employers for private insurance.

just a few examples...

Flap Doodle 10 years, 3 months ago

snap writes:








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