Useless for pandemic
Today, the world faces an unprecedented lethal health pandemic. As our doctors and hospitals are crying for test kits, masks and ventilators to save people's lives, 130 U.S. House members wrote urgently to Congress to approve spending for 19 additional F-35 fighter jets that the Pentagon had not asked for. The F-35 fighter planes are reportedly the most expensive weapons in the history of the world and still, they don't work.
After years pleading with Congress to stop wasting huge sums of taxpayer's money on the F-35, Stephen Milles of Win Without War reacted: "Infuriating doesn't even begin to describe it!" he said. "Do F-35s fight pandemics?"
A recent letter described as swine those who have mobbed the grocery stores to buy up all the toilet paper and other necessities. Although I think the writer was disrespectful of swine, I did agree with his metaphor.
It is far beyond my 72 years of observation as to why a respiratory infection would require the hoarding of massive amounts of toilet paper. Those who engage in the practice of buying up all the supplies are simply revealing their total lack of compassion and consideration for others. They are completely missing those two qualities in their lives.
Someone long ago noted that actions speak louder than words, and there is not a better example of this than what we have seen in the last couple of weeks. There is no shortage of food and hygiene products anywhere in this great country. Those who mob the stores have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are self-centered, inconsiderate, and have no respect for others. Perhaps they have the money to strip the grocery shelves, but what about those who can only afford to buy week to week? And what of the elderly and other physically challenged folks who arrive at the stores to discover these inconsiderate barbarians have purchased all the supplies? This is panic buying and not buying of necessity.
The fearmongers on social media and the news media have created a panic that is revealed by the fearful and irresponsible actions of the few. Fear produces panic, and panic brings forth illogical and unwise children. The mass hysteria of the panicked herd continues to grow. Consumers still line up before the businesses open and immediately leave the store shelves bare and food unavailable to others. I am not speaking of other places, folks. This is happening right here in Arkansas. Whatever happened to love your neighbor and do unto others? May God in his grace and love forgive us for our ungodly actions.
Vote didn't serve us
Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton: Please explain to me why you voted against the Murray amendment, which would have expanded sick leave to thousands of Arkansans left in the lurch by the coronavirus. You think nothing of throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at an already bloated defense budget, but somehow the constituents in your own state are less deserving.
Who exactly are your constituents? The corporate lobbyists who fill your campaign coffers or the people of Arkansas?
Need ray of sunshine
As I sit here in my recliner practicing social distancing, it has occurred to me that we need a new sense of hope and bold leadership. I am requesting, almost begging, that we hear from the potentate of the Grill Party. In these most uncertain and trying times, a ray of sunshine is badly needed!
In concert with the current worldwide covid-19 pandemic stands (another) Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." These current times seem a tad too interesting, but nonetheless, here we are.
We are told, probably accurately, that the pandemic will pass, that before too long the virus will be either conquered or controlled, and that life will return to normal. Once again we'll be able to congregate with our friends and neighbors, go where we want, when we want, do what we want, and generally return to our normal social lives. But will we, really?
Next time you go to your grocery store, as you drive along take a rough count of the number of restaurants you pass and ask yourself, "How many of these will survive?" Same for small, or some big, businesses along your route. Today few are talking about the long-term financial consequences of what's going on. Focus, rightly, is on individuals whose lives have suddenly been turned upside down, but longer term there is a piper waiting in the wings who is going to have to be paid.
Frankly, the economic long-run prognosis is grim. What's going on is unprecedented in the history of the world. There have been pandemics before with far more dire mortality consequences than this one, but there has never been a financial pandemic of this scale. An extreme economic dislocation is underway and seemingly won't be stopping very soon. How it will end isn't clear, but it probably won't be pretty. A lot of jobs and businesses are at high risk and while we can hope for the best, only time will tell for sure.
As a wise friend used to say regarding a card game, "Hope is not a viable strategy." It's not strategically viable for economics either.
Editorial on 03/25/2020
Print Headline: Letters