On Dec. 31, a Washington Post headline read, “Protesters storm U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.” Shades of fake news!
The first line of the story reveals that these weren’t mere “protesters” attacking the embassy — they were Iraqi Shiite militiamen. And they were funded by Iran, President Trump said.
They shouted “Down, down USA!” and “Death to America!” They threw water and stones at the embassy walls and set fire to three trailers.
While this was happening, Iraqi soldiers who were supposed to be guarding the embassy just stood by. I’m starting to think they’re not really on our side.
In the meantime, Trump dispatched about 100 Marines and two Apache helicopters to reinforce security at the embassy.
There will be no Benghazis on Trump’s watch!
Sacrificing the future
In at least three ways, our government is sacrificing the future to make the economy look good in this election year.
Denying climate change, the Trump administration boosts the economy by enhancing the profits of polluting producers and consumers of fossil fuels. However, rising sea levels, wildfires, increasingly violent storms and decimation of many animal species foretell devastation that will be both human and economic.
The tax cut that mostly benefited corporations and rich people was supposed to pay for itself by stimulating the economy. It didn’t. It made the government borrow huge sums to cover its revenue shortfall and pushed the national debt beyond $23 trillion.
This corporate tax windfall was supposed to create jobs, but it mostly funded stock buybacks and dividends, further enriching wealthy stock owners. Mostly middle-class future taxpayers will have to pay down the nation’s debt with interest. The tax cut constitutes a massive transfer of wealth to the upper crust.
Finally, the Federal Reserve is “supporting the economy” with tools generally used to pull the country out of a recession. Why has the Fed cut interest rates and bought bank repos to stimulate the economy with unemployment low, inflation under control and the stock markets hitting record highs? Such actions make these tools less effective when the next downturn comes, as it surely will.
The good ol’ days
Oh! How I long for the good ol’ “horse and buggy” days when all one had to worry about when crossing the street was stepping into something. Then, it wasn’t such a bad thing to be looking down.
If Congress were passing ridiculous laws, we wouldn’t be worrying because by the time we learned what it had done, it would be too late to object. If we had children, they would have to listen to us; there wasn’t much else to do. If we wanted to buy something, we would have to actually speak to people and give them money. We knew what we had bought and did not have to wonder what it would actually look like or if it would work when delivered or if it might be stolen off our porch.
As I attempt to navigate “social media” — sometimes anti-social, if you ask me — I wonder if it is all worth it with security continually at risk. Yet, as I sit here watching “Saving Mr. Banks,” I choose to live life as much as possible with a spoonful of sugar and a bit of good humor.
Finally, some things to consider:
Help (others), think (positively), love (family and friends), learn (something new). Find someone to look up to. Better yet, become that someone.
Just before Christmas, we began to learn through various hard-working news organizations that the reason President Trump believes the conspiracy theory about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election — and that ridiculous nonsense about CrowdStrike — is because Russian President Vladimir Putin told Trump so.
Our enemy, who beyond a shadow of a doubt interfered in our election, told Trump it wasn’t him, it was Ukraine, and Trump was gullible enough to believe him.
I heard once that it’s easy to fool a con man. I guess there’s something to that.
William B. Perry
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