Goodbye to 2021

The good, the bad and the ugly

First the good

The U.S. $1.9 trillion COVID-19-relief package that helped families—and states and cities—weather the financial hardship caused by the pandemic

A relatively smooth rollout of the major COVID-19 vaccines that offered protection to more than 200 million people and provided at least a brief return to normalcy

A U.S. $1 trillion infrastructure law that won Republican party support and made substantial progress on an issue that had vexed presidents of both parties

The bad

The resurgence, first in summer and then in late fall, of the coronavirus pandemic

Failure to win Senate backing of his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better economic plan all thanks to one man, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III

Retention of the filibuster in the United States Senate

Vladimir Putin massing Russian troops on its Ukraine border

The pointless meeting of countries called COP26, United Nations Climate Change Conference, that accomplished nothing

The ugly

Invasion of the U.S. Capital

The U.S. chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that ceded the country to the Taliban, cost the lives of U.S. troops, and left many Afghan allies to fend for themselves

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that inflation for the past 12 months has risen by 6.8 percent

The supply chain that ensures we can buy the things we want and need has been disrupted by the pandemic. There are too many cargo ships waiting to be unloaded and there is a shortage of manpower to make things and to drive the trucks that deliver goods around the country. In Houston, the public transportation system is offering new bus drivers bonuses of $4,000. For mechanics, it’s $8,000.

2022 does not appear to be any better than 2021 with the threats of war, a pandemic that is more ominous, and a democracy that is being threatened by its own people.  

And Society Said “Who Cares?”

It is impossible to fathom what is in the minds of members of the Senate and House that continue to block legislation that would decrease the use of firearms that kill innocent people. The Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, the leading Republican on the Senate judiciary committee, blocked a request on Thursday to proceed on gun control legislation in the Senate after the Michigan school shooting this week.

Grassley blocked expanding background checks condemning it as “hostile towards lawful gun owners and lawful firearm transactions”. He argued that “so-called universal background checks will not prevent crime and will turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.”

Think about that.  Universal background checks would “turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.”  How about background checks to prevent criminals and mentally challenged people from obtaining firearms?

Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old accused of killing four fellow students at a Michigan high school was identified by teachers as a troubled teenager.  His father bought the gun he used just a few days before the killing.  Would James Crumbley pass a background check?  Perhaps, but every effort to keep weapons out of the hands of would be killers is worth the price of investigating someone’s background.

This shooting is reminiscent of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 children

And society said “Who cares?”

People like Chuck Grassley are a danger to American society.  

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Every election results in one winner and losers.  The winner won the most votes.  That is the American democracy.  With two major political parties the winner will likely be a Republican or a Democrat.  The first national election was 1789.  The election system has made America the example for the rest of the world.

In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe by a margin of 50.9 percent to 48.4 percent as of midday Friday. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Jack Ciattarelli by a nearly identical margin, 50.8 percent to 48.5 percent.

In Virginia, McAuliffe conceded defeat the morning after the election. In New Jersey, Ciattarelli refused to concede.

This is the new GOP response when their candidate loses an election. If we win no matter how close it was a fair election. If our candidate lost there was cheating and fraud.

This is all taken from the Donald Trump playbook.

If this becomes the standard then we can kiss the American democracy goodbye.

Imagine You Were Born in 1900

When you’re 14, World War I begins and ends when you’re 18 with 22 million dead.

Soon after a global pandemic, the Spanish Flu, appears, killing 50 million people. And you’re alive and 20 years old.

When you’re 29 you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment and famine.

When you’re 33 years old the nazis come to power.

When you’re 39, World War II begins and ends when you’re 45 years old with a 60 million dead. In the Holocaust 6 million Jews die.

When you’re 52, the Korean War begins.

When you’re 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends when you’re 75.

A child born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and catastrophes. Today we have all the comforts in a new world, amid a new pandemic. But we complain because we need to wear masks. We complain because we must stay confined to our homes where we have food, electricity, running water, wifi, even Netflix! None of that existed back in the day. But humanity survived those circumstances and never lost their joy of living. A small change in our perspective can generate miracles.

We should be thankful that we are alive. We should do everything we need to do to protect and help each other.

Re-Read that last line again and AGAIN!

Comic Book Fun is Being Destroyed

Why can’t business leave children alone?

As a child Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Bugs Bunny, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, Archie (my favorite) were all fun comic books.  Nothing serious and no real social issues were addressed.  No sex even in Archie with his two possible girl friends. I collected comic books and baseball cards.  It was fun!

Now Superman Comes Out, as DC Comics Ushers In a New Man of Steel. The new Superman, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is concerned about the environment, does not shy away from politics and will soon begin a romantic relationship with a male friend.

Talk about destroying childhood fun this is an abomination.  What preteen cares or understands the issues of the environment, discrimination, sexual orientation, politics and other social issues?

Children should be given time to grow up without having to contend with the issues of adulthood.