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Coping with The 21st Century:

Howell Hurst Uncategorized

It sure seems you have to spend a lot of time battling against absurd obstacles in this much-touted digital age. It’s nothing so simple as making your computer and cell phone hardware work with their software – I’ve given up on that. You just have to bite the bullet, hire an “expert “ to help you, and pay their fees.


The real problem is the hardware and software designers, who remain hidden up in their shining white towers. Getting them to listen to their customers (you and me) is harder to accomplish than making taxes disappear, or your mother-in-law. Or finding a top quality cigar: long gone.


Personally, I think we should lock all hardware and software designers in a giant football stadium with a lot of hotdogs and beer, and not let them out until they have collaboratively figured out how to make all their gadgets and software work together. Then we could all return to being productive instead of wasting time and money on endless repairs.


But, my real gripes are different from that.  Our economy, I have long accepted, has as its backbone the U.S. Military Business Complex. Our defense and intelligence budgets together total about $2 Trillion a year. And every state has local businesses building some supporting item for that industry. So, trying to make our defense manufacturing industry less expensive by would impact many small defense contractors.


The new guy about to be in charge soon – wants to redesign and expand our nuclear weapons.: spend billions more than the already annual nuke budget of $35 Billion. Both he and Mr. Putin are all for nuclear expansion. Their theory remains that old worn out idea of mutual self-destruction: if both countries have lots of nukes, we won’t use them and peace will persist. Uh huh. You don’t figure both countries will make more money off the nuclear bomb business, do you?


In addition to the money-making nuke initiative, Mr. Trump has polished up the tarnished concept of water boarding and general torture as cherished American ideas. No matter that all rational governments worldwide declare torture, at least as their philosophical policy, to be inhuman, inhumane, immoral, plus questionably effective.


Mr. T. says he’ll be for less nuclear weapons when countries get it together to ban them. He doesn’t see it, however, as his duty to lead the U.S. and world in that direction.  I suspect if we saw his tax returns, we might find he owns lots of defense stocks. Or, if not, a lot of his friends may. Otherwise, why would he be such an avid promoter of nuclear weapons? Does he find them warm and cuddly?


I’d rather he mounted a campaign selling the idea of all countries gradually  eliminating their nuclear weapons, and the U.S. spending its saved money helping recover the several million Americans who lost their jobs in 2008, and all those tens of thousands of Veterans and others who are in their fourth decade of homelessness.


A fine new profit-making industry could be made of opening country-wide local homeless shelters with mental, drug, and alcohol services, plus job retraining and job-sharing placement centers. All the nuclear employees could be retrained to do this work rather than defending us all by stockpiling terrorist-tempting nuclear weaponry.


Nothing on the planet is more ridiculous than the multi-million dollar nuclear weapons industry. Nothing keeps it going except its profitability. If congress would pass a law making it mandatory to build nuclear weapons on a non-profit basis, with executive incomes capped at the national average income of $50,000 a year, we would see the industry tank in a month.


Getting all the other nuke-loving governments to participate would be the problem, of course. But for Trump this ought to be a piece of cake. Between him and his new Secretary of State appointee, they’ve got the Russian contacts to persuade Putin to get on board.


How about that? Profitable peace making: replacing nuclear devices with something that makes human sense, instead of continuing to support the always-over-the-budget con game that continues to endanger the entire world 75 years after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.


A timely idea, I’d say, if you care for human life more than additional profits.

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