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The eagle is a dramatic bird. It soars; it swoops; it kills; it dominates. And look at that profile. Who wouldn’t want to be an eagle?
In contrast, the cuckoo has a serious public relations problem - starting with its name.
Would you really want to be addressed as “Cuckoo?”
Well, that’s exactly what I thought. And, it’s not the sexiest looking bird either. Some might call it dumpy. Others might call it ‘bourgeois.’
Once upon a time, there were two countries called EAGLE (U.S.A.) and CUCKOO (Guess!) and both decided to spend a trillion dollars.
Why so? Well, that’s what countries do. If you ever hear of a country not spending money, let me know.
EAGLE decided to spend its money on war. Why not indeed! An eagle is the very symbol of war.
CUCKOO decided to build a high speed rail system. It liked trains.
At the end of a year, EAGLE had conquered Iraq and was very pleased with itself. Concurrently, CUCKOO was scarcely beyond the planning stage and had nothing to show for it.
At the end of ten years, EAGLE had spent, or was due to spend, over $3 trillion (give or take), had thousands dead, hundreds of thousands injured, had killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and wasn’t too sure why it had invaded in the first place.
Moreover, since it had spent money it didn’t have, but had borrowed, it now owed more like $4 trillion despite having paid interest every year.
And it had had to borrow to pay that interest. In all it was out about $4.5 trillion and had no idea when, or how, it could pay this money back.
Worse, it had a few other wars on the go as well. Afghanistan, Libya – and some minor dust-ups in Somalia, the Yemen and other places which are absolutely TOP SECRET (though rarely for long).
Why? Well, war is just something that EAGLE does. It has these chicks it has to keep fed. They are called MILITARY, INDUSTRIAL, CONGRESSIONAL, & COMPLEX. They are very sweet really. But, between you and me, they are expensive, greedy and (largely) clueless. Unless they are fed constantly, they scream and do unpleasant things. Their diet consists solely of money. The sound of their incessant munching permeates Washington D.C.
At the end of ten years, CUCKOO had a first rate high speed rail system which it promptly sold to investors at a profit. Meanwhile, everyone could get around faster, there was less pollution because trucks were taken off the roads, and Global Warming was set back a tiny bit. It had made a profit of about $1 trillion and, being a government, that profit was tax free.
Is there a moral to this story (which is fiction, of course)? Well, there might be if we decided this Land of the Free could learn from other countries; but since we know that we are superior in every way, and that Europeans (for instance) are, for a want of a better word, CUCKOO, there really isn’t.
But I hope you had a great FOURTH OF JULY.