Saturday, December 18

Barnett thoughts

I didn't know the Kyoto treaty went easy on China and India:
Conversely, when the Old Core is tasked by the Gap to clean up its pollution like CO2, and the world comes up with a Kyoto Treaty that places all the onus on the Old Core (plus Russia) but ignores surging New Core powers like India and China, that's patently unfair.
It's fair from a certain perspective, since the Old Core has had many years to pollute without getting limited. I don't know what's best here.

[N]ukes are for having in a mutually-assured destruction balance, not for using.

Our battlefield medicine is amazing.
In both Vietnam and Desert Storm, 24% of those wounded ended up dying. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Afghanistan operation, that percentage drops to 10%. That is not just impressive, that's amazing.
Saving the lives of American soldiers who go into combat is worth almost any price tag. But there's one costly consequence:
[W]e now have to plus up extensively our commitment to dealing with the psychological late effects that emerge from combat duty. The Army says it's seeing a traumatization rate of roughly one out of every six soldiers, and experts say the ultimate rate may be one in three, or roughly what we saw in Vietnam.

This is the reality of modern warfare (much like modern police work): you are more likely to be psychologically damaged than killed or maimed, but the responsibility of the government remains the same.
Guard enlistment is way down, not least of all because of the employment ramifications, for employees and employers:
Essentially, you hire a Guard or Reservist and it's much like hiring a woman of child-bearing age: you the employer must expect that soldier will be gone one out of every five years of employment. So what are you, the employer, likely to do? Put that person on the military equivalent of the mommy track?
In America it's the economy, stupid. We need those big tax cuts. We want to defend our country. We want to wage a Global War on Terror. But those Guardsmen and women don't get paid very much, usually nowhere near replacement income. There's no guarantee they'll have a job when they come back. They might be traumatized. They tend to be older and have families to support.

Why in the world would anyone sign up for the Guard or the Reserves these days? If we want this component to work, we will have to change its structure.

Good news from Mexico. They're successfully getting folks (personas) into home ownership.
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