Monday, May 27, 2019

From the Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction file.

As Memorial Day draws to a close, I find myself worrying more, not less about those who choose to serve our nation in uniform. I realize we are in somewhat of a "peacetime," but the saber rattling of this past week is disturbing and, quite frankly, frightening. Pence came right out and said it to the graduating class at West Point:

It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life.  You will lead soldiers in combat.  It will happen. 
Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Some of you will join the fight on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific, where North Korea continues to threaten the peace, and an increasingly militarized China challenges our presence in the region.  Some of you will join the fight in Europe, where an aggressive Russia seeks to redraw international boundaries by force.  And some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.
I just don't like the certainty he expresses in that speech. That said, it dovetails right into the events in Asia over the weekend. 

While in Japan this weekend, our president made light of North Korea's latest round of test missiles, discounting and dismissing the position of his National Security Advisor John Bolton as well as the concerns of his host, Japanese Prime Minister and golf partner Shinto Abe, while praising Kim Jung-Un:
[He is] looking to create a nation that has great strength economically. … He knows that, with nuclear, that’s never going to happen. Only bad can happen. He understands that. He is a very smart man. He gets it well.... 
Feckless leader's comments are counter to what his own experts are telling him: that firing test missiles is not a good-faith action by Kim, coming off as a deliberate provocation meant to demonstrate to Japan that the American is in his pocket, not theirs. And as if that was not sufficient to make even the GOP cringe, our leader, who has never been one to let courtesy, policy, tradition, or cogent thought get between his brain and his mouth, continued: 
Well, Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low-IQ individual. He probably is, based on his record. I think I agree with him on that.
There are so many things I could say at this moment, but none of them are nice or allude to the concept of dignified statesmanship.

I won't even mention China at this point. This trade war is devastating our food chain beginning with the farmers. Food, clothes, electronics, all that stuff is caught up in the tariffs war. And every item in your shopping cart is going to be impacted. 

But that, as my mother would say, is from the kleinigkeitenTruth is, we have bigger things to worry about. This guy bypassed Congress and arranged the sale of a whole lotta weapons to Saudi Arabia. 

This past spring, both the House and the Senate passed legislation cutting off military assistance to Saudi Arabia's war against Yemen. BOTH houses passed this resolution...and the oval office vetoed it. You gotta believe if BOTH houses thought military assistance to a monarchy that orchestrated the murder of an American journalist was inappropriate, this was serious stuff. Usually the Senate just wipes the president's butt with paperwork, but even they thought assistance was not in the best interest of this or any other country. 

Meanwhile,Saudi Arabia is busy rattling its own sabers at Iran. One would think we learned all we need to know about regime change from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the disaster that is Syria. One would think the failed Arab Spring movement would've driven home the point that getting involved with Mideast internal affairs is a losing proposition for everyone involved. And this included, believe it or not, Israel. Who do you think is going to be in the middle?

Feckless leader is choreographing his own despotic kickline to rule the world. Only it's not that easy. Putin, Kim, Netanyahu, and Mohammed Bin Salam are all auditioning for high-stepping solos in the alternate universe kickline while vying to be heir-apparent dance captain...all at the same time.

You would think Israel would know better than to align itself with new Axis. Are  Netanyahu and the rest of his confederacy of dunces really willing to believe this will make Israel safe for Jews? If antisemitic acts are becoming daily occurrences in this country as they are in Europe, who do they think is dog-whistling the miscreants? Can they possibly be so naive as to think the Jews won't be dragged off the stage for the sake of the Rapture?

And I am forced to go back to Pence's speech and wonder what army our soldiers will be fronting. 

Folks, we are fast approaching critical mass in this country. You can choose to ignore it, to keep your head in the sand, or you can begin dialing your congress clowns at a furious pace. To date, I have not been a supporter of impeachment, but I am beginning to see why there may not be an option. More and more centrist Republicans are cautiously coming out of the shadows to speak up. I suspect more will emerge, but it will be a slow process. If you are in a GOP area, begin asking your own representatives where they stand on the Saudi sale or the remarks about Korea's test missiles. Ask the question; let your elected representative know you are watching and listening. Silence is always taken as tacit consent . . . remember they were called the Silent Majority for a reason. You may be a loyal member of the GOP, but if the events of recent weeks are not sitting well with you, let Washington and your state capital know. 

If you haven't ever heard Jacques Brel's MARATHON, or haven't heard it in a while, you need to listen to the lyrics..or at least read them. 

Brel was a satirist and well ahead of his time for so many reasons. I listen to the album more often these days and I am appalled at how far we have not come. It's the same shit all over again. Europe has never really been very good at peace, anyway. And neither have we. And with Le Pen picking up steam, along with the right wings of several central European countries, we have a reason to be concerned. We've seen this play before. Several times. 

Sometimes I think this kinda stuff is why no outworlders have ever contacted us. They already know the punchline and they're not playing. We're not worth it.

On the other hand, if you're thinking our sitting president is A-okay and wanna roll with this administration and its policies, keep this thought in mind: it's not just your tomatoes, TVs and t-shirts that are gonna get expensive real soon, it's everything, even the brewskis. 
A report published by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association has found that 40,000 jobs have been lost in breweries as tariffs on metal have inflated the cost of aluminium cans.
The study found that 2.19 million people were employed in the US’ beer industry in 2018, down from 2.23 million two years ago.
Suppliers to the brewing industry – enterprises that manufacture bottles and cans, cardboard case boxes, brewing equipment or marketing displays – generate nearly $102.0 billion in economic activity and are responsible for almost 436,650 jobs, according to the Beer Institute.
US president Donald Trump sparked a trade war with several countries after he implemented a 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminium respectively from 1 June 2018.
“Aluminum tariffs are increasing brewers’ costs and are an anchor on a vibrant industry,” the Beer Institute’s CEO Jim McGreevy said in an emailed statement. “Each brewer is deciding for themselves how to absorb that expense, whether it’s raising prices, laying off workers or delaying innovation and expansion.”                                                                             The Drinks Business - May 24, 2019
 Between the aluminum and the farmers going bankrupt, your beer is about to get really, really expensive. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Wednesday marks the 566 anniversary of the 
fall of Constantinople to the Turks. 
In my heart, there will be angel food cake with chocolate frosting. 

1 comment:

  1. I love that you have that recording. My parents had it and it is STILL the best production of that show.