Hard to understand
I find it difficult to understand the partnership of Christians and Donald Trump. Way back when I was being educated by the Jesuits, I believe that would have been referred to as "situational ethics."
And just to be clear, there is nothing ethical about it.
Recently I overheard the comment that our Legislature and Congress should be referred to as a coalition to promote poverty. Though I think the comment was meant to be facetious, on reflection I could see the truth in it.
Taxpayers are paying farmers for the grain the Chinese refused to buy, and this has run into billions. Meanwhile consumers are paying a tariff on Chinese goods that is between 10 percent and 25 percent. You can Google and learn what carries the tariff and how much it is. So taxpayers are suffering the results of a poorly thought-out trade deal.
The middle economic class are the supporters of the government, and that class is shrinking.
The poor are taking a hit from the Legislature who passed a bill adding $10 to court fine installments each month. That means the ones who can only pay $20 month end up paying much more for a $100 fine due to $10 going to the black hole each month.
There are many other examples, but these are enough to give credit to the appellation mentioned above.
Now the Legislature wants to mess with term limits. Do not let them.
Keep elections secure
Moscow Mitch earned his nickname by opposing election security legislation. He and his followers may come to regret that. Senators Cotton and Boozman apparently haven't considered the possible consequences of Trump inviting foreign nations to participate in and influence our elections. Granted, 2016 worked out pretty well for them and their tribe. The election of Donald Trump, though, has stirred up animosity and hostility on a truly global scale.
Putin apparently supported Trump as a way to destroy the U.S. as a global power. So far, his strategy seems to be working as the U.S. no longer has any allies and NATO, without U.S. support, is much less likely to be able to push back against Putin's machinations.
Putin, though, is not the only antagonist in the world. China, North Korea and Iran all have reasons to see Trump defeated in 2020. Since Trump has invited foreign interference, it would be a stretch to think these three Trump foes would simply take a pass. Just think, the U.S. could be the battleground of the first ever World Cyber War. How exciting.
There is election security legislation (HR2722, the Securing America's Federal Elections Act) that passed the House of Representatives in June and has been stuck in the Senate since then. Moscow Mitch would rather leave us vulnerable to foreign interference in our election. What could go wrong, right?
Since Senators Cotton and Boozman aren't even remotely interested in protecting and defending the Constitution, maybe they can generate a little enthusiasm for protecting their tribe. After all, if Trump goes down, that will also spell the end of the Russian Party in America.
It may be too late for 2020. Americans are going to have to step up and win that election. It's not too late, though, to take the steps necessary to end the election cyber warfare by 2022. Defeating Trump and Moscow Mitch would be a big step in the right direction.
None of us superior
I was sad to see that the Democrat-Gazette disseminated Bret Stephens' despicable New York Times column, "Secrets of Jewish genius."
Stephens' theories, suggesting that ways of thinking developed by Ashkenazic Jews are superior, are largely based on the "findings" of a eugenicist, Stephen Harpending. While references to Harpending and his work were deleted by The New York Times before Stephens' column reached the Democrat-Gazette, his offensive claims were not.
I am the grateful heir of a powerful legacy, which Stephens describes accurately. Others--Christians, Muslims, people of other faiths and no faith, not to mention Sephardic Jews and converts to Judaism with all kinds of genealogies--also rightfully claim great legacies as their heritage, different but not inferior to mine. Yes, skills developed by Ashkenazic Jews, who faced persecution and poverty for much of our European history, ironically prepared many for socioeconomic success in industrial America.
Contemporary Jews understand ourselves to be "chosen" in the sense that we have a unique responsibility to bear witness to Torah through our righteous behavior. Those who observe other faiths or none, and those who emanate from other cultures, are equally endowed with unique gifts and roles to play in this world. Each one of us is created in God's image, none of us superior to any other.
BARRY H. BLOCK
Hear echo from hell
Two to three centuries ago, the West developed national states and industrialized. Unified by national myths that distinguished each nation as a distinct people, they employed superior military technology to colonize the globe. As one publicist observed: "Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim gun and they have not" ... an advantage the West seeks to preserve today regarding nuclear weapons. Centuries of colonial domination shaped Western consciousness in assuming cultural supremacy over lesser breeds who stood in the way of progress, breeds that should be "disappeared" by forcing them to abandon their culture to become like us ... or be exterminated. Progress required taking the land and resources the West believed they squandered.
Listening to Donald Trump, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham and others refer to Iran's effort to defend its land and resources against Western colonizing forces in the Middle East is like listening to the American founding fathers refer to the savage Indians and primitive Africans of yesteryear ... an echo chamber from hell.
Times have changed. Consciousness will have to change. Western "progress" threatens the planet; and global cooperation, not conflict, is our only dim hope.
Editorial on 01/12/2020
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