In response to the Comptroller General’s contention in yesterday‘s post that ‘No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years,’ Jim Dienes writes in to say that ‘the Roman Republic lasted from 509BC to 27BC.’ And Bob Sakowski dates the Venitian Republic from 697-1797 – adding, however, that, even so, ‘[Walker’s] idea of where we are headed will likely come to pass and sooner rather than later, unfortunately.’

☞ I’m more optimistic. I think we will right ourselves. But course correction doesn’t happen by itself. It takes thought and work. We need to turn our well-founded angst into well-funded action. (Support the DNC!)


We think of ourselves as the best country that ever was – I certainly do. And while we wince at what we did to the Indians (and did again and again and again), that was a long time ago. Likewise, slavery.

Remember the Alamo? We remember the heroic part, but how many kids know the context? That we were in the midst of stealing Texas from Mexico? (My history on this is very hazy; if I have it materially wrong, I’ll be thrilled – just let me know.) But that was a long time ago, too.

In more recent times, if Friday‘s Confessions of a Hitman audio clip is to be believed at all, our motives have not always been entirely pure either.

And it is in taking off on that premise that Rick Stahlhut commends a site called

Whence comes – among much else – this snippet:

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. … Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity….. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives…. We should cease to talk about vague and … unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

-US State Department Policy Planning Study 23, formerly top secret,
by George Kennan (et al), 1948

‘The problem, as I see it,’ writes Rick, ‘is that our foreign policy, and our society/economy generally, are grounded in a bully-oriented, pragmatic foreign policy style which ‘works’ in state v. state conflicts, but is proving dysfunctional when dealing with ideologically or values-oriented state-less actors such as the ones we’re fighting now.’

‘The site is obviously coming from a somewhat ‘left’ viewpoint,’ Rick concludes, ‘but I don’t find that particularly important. His facts and reasoning are generally good or at least interesting.’

Left, right or center, the only reason to read a site critical of our country is to make our country even better. But who among us does not want that?

If you read from the beginning – and if you follow the ‘red pills’ – you will take an interesting journey.

To help you find time, I’ll keep tomorrow’s post short or non-existent.


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