Not good for the country
Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she will pay for social programs by taxing stock portfolios of the wealthy. Does this include the IRAs created to help middle-and low-income people save for their old age? Has anyone explained to Warren that people stop buying stocks and bonds when they are no longer profitable? That stock declines cause business failures? That business failures cause job losses? That people without jobs can’t pay taxes? That lost taxes cause social program coffers to be empty when more unemployed people are lining up for them? That all this is not good for the country or the people?
But, hey, any Democrat will do. Yeah, right.
While listening to the impeachment testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent and Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor on Wednesday, I realized something very important that hadn’t occurred to me before.
The U.S. was assisting Ukraine, not only militarily, but in getting rid of the corruption that was endemic to the country. The firing of Ukraine prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin — insisted on by then-Vice President Joe Biden at the behest of the State Department — was seen as a crucial development in curbing corruption. (Ironically, one of Shokin’s faults was that he failed to investigate Burisma, the company for which Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, worked.)
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was also fighting corruption; she had an excellent reputation with the State Department and with Ukrainians.
So when President Trump recalled Yovanovitch and bad-mouthed her to Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and urged Zelensky to rehire Shokin, he was not only attempting to help himself politically, but he was encouraging corruption in Ukraine. Zelensky and every Ukrainian official would know that to get on Trump’s good side and receive American assistance, they would have to accept corruption in their ranks.
The U.S. would be supporting corruption. Conservative friends, is that really what the U.S. should be doing?
Jane Freemont Gibson
I understand from the news that the Republications want to call the whistleblower and Hunter Biden as witnesses in the impeachment hearings that have just started. The Democrats won’t allow it.
I have been a lawyer for some 40 years in two states. During this time I took part in multiple thousands of trials and hearings. In none of these was the other side allowed to control whether or not I could call a witness or what witness I could call.
If the other side controls and limits the witnesses a party can call, it is not a fair proceeding. It is only a kabuki play.
In the mirror
“What we believe is revealed in the way we behave, and whatever we do is inevitably a proclamation to others of the gospel we believe.” These words from the Interpreter’s Bible are a good lens through which to look at the impeachment crisis before us.
All of us, not just our representatives, will be revealing what we believe and the Gospel we hang our hats on (truth vs. falsehood, what is right vs. ends justify the means, power or law, party or country). So, let us all look ourselves in the mirror and decide who we are and what we stand for, remembering words from the hymn by James Russell Lowell:
Once to every person and nation comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood, For the good or evil side ...
Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
before her cause bring fame and profit and tis prosperous to be just ...
Then it is the brave person chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
Who will we show ourselves to be?
The Rev. Duke Ison
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