IT SEEMS OBVIOUS TO ME that we’re locked in combat between the colossal ego of the presidential poseur in the White House and a would-be inclusive society struggling to maintain ethnic, judicial and financial equality. And Donald’s self-serving floundering is dragging us back to the days when signs proclaimed “whites only” or “help wanted—Irish need not apply.”
During my life I’ve watched our society slowly divest itself of the attitudes that flourished during the Hoover administration and clung to life through the Great Depression, World War II and decades that followed. Just over two years ago our social conscience had matured to the point where our country was being led by the compassionate son of an African American father and an Irish mother. The speed at which virtue has been losing ground to evil since then is rather frightening. It happens not only in major headline-grabbing ways, but also in a myriad of small ways behind closed doors and in the shadows of the headlines.
DO WE REALLY NEED TANKS any more? Especially $714,000,000 worth? Donald visited the Army Tank Plant in Lima, Ohio, on March 20, 2019, where he gave a speech affirming his commitment to keeping the plant up and running. The Army announced early this year that it would spend $714 million to upgrade the M1A1 Abrams tank at the plant. This is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility currently operated by General Dynamics Land Systems. A fine example of a military-industrial complex in full bloom.
As I understand it, the U.S. has no ongoing personal need for this weapon designed for a somewhat outmoded feature of land warfare—but sells the tanks to other nations, such as Israel, which can buy them with money also originating in the U.S. Witness this “Jewish News Syndicate” item from Feb. 13, 2018: “The annual funding Israel receives from the United States may be increased by $200 million in 2019, according to President Donald Trump’s fiscal year budget request. Israel is expected to receive $3.3 billion in 2019. The requested funds are the result of a $38 billion 10-year memorandum of understanding signed between Israel and the United States at the end of President Barack Obama’s term in office. The additional proposed funds are being apportioned to provide “assistance to bolster Israel’s capacity to defend itself and maintain its qualitative military edge.”
I’d like to see that $714 million spent elsewhere—say to bolster programs dealing with housing, food, education, mental health, etc. I think our society would be more secure with a roof over people’s heads and dinner on their tables—than with the knowledge that we have battle tanks standing at the ready somewhere in Africa.
Donald’s alternative might be more like deploying a few tanks in San Diego and El Paso to frighten away refugee women and children—rather than spending vehicle production costs on housing and food for asylum seekers. He’s certainly not averse to utilizing fear as a weapon on both sides of his ridiculous fence.
A perspective here that I find particularly offensive is that while U. S. taxpayers will be sending billions in military aid to Israel, Donald has pointedly cut off the millions in humanitarian aid and continued to otherwise degrade Palestine at every opportunity. He made a special splash in September of slashing away the $25 million budgeted to cover cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians at Jerusalem hospitals, six of them, some church-operated. In past years, U. S. funding covered medical costs for Palestinians to go to these hospitals for treatment unavailable in the West Bank and Gaza—from cardiac and eye surgeries to neonatal intensive care and children’s dialysis, according to the World Health Organization.
Just another example of how uncaring Donald can muck things up when he decides who should deprived of health-care coverage at home and abroad—to financially facilitate military and industrial splurging. This is an example that goes beyond mere nationalism.
ANOTHER FEATURE OF DONALD’S VISIT to the Lima plant was his speech, which wandered into still another posthumous assault on the late GOP Senator John McCain, who prior to his death crossed party lines to cast a decisive “no” voter on Trump’s attempt to abolish Obamacare medical coverage. This loathsome habit of his may well come back to haunt Donald if McCain’s home state of Arizona becomes a swing state in 2020.
CHEATING EVEN AT GOLF—Looking for a gift for a golfer friend? This probably skipped right past everyone who doesn’t read the inside pages of the daily paper’s sports section.
Former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly has written a new book: “Commander in Cheat. How Golf Explains Trump.” He doc-
uments numerous examples of underhanded golf behavior by Donald.
One instance cited was a 2017 round played with Tiger Woods and another golf great. Trump’s foursome partner later noted that Donald’s offenses included putting down a score that didn’t include his hitting two balls into the water on one hole. Others, including Donald’s caddie and Secret Service agents have confessed to moving his ball out of difficult lies. Reilly also deals with Trump’s repeated claim of having won 18 club championships, not a single one of which could be corroborated. Donald’s tally included one where he never even played on the course that day and another in which he counted a round at a yet-to-be-opened golf club.
MY FAVORITE STORY BY FAR, in recent general news, was in the April 8 issue of the Seattle Times. It affirmed my opinion that there’s more justice in an African jungle than emanates in Washington, D.C. from the ‘gator-infested swamp that is the White House.
Five South African poachers snuck into a national park to kill rhinoceros. They were spotted by an elephant who apparently knew what they were about, what with history rife with records of elephant deaths at the hands of poachers—and elephants’ legendary memory.
The elephant killed one of the poachers, whose remains later were devoured (save for his skull and his pants) by lions, themselves continuing to some extent to be hunted for sport.
It’s great to see Mother Nature win a round now and then.
For photos of Donald Trump’s sons Donald and Eric posed joyfully with various magnificent animals shot for “sport” rather than meat, see: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=trump+sons+as+hunters&id=8ED45962184B8417BD8897F608155F747E704A4A&FORM=IQFRBA
What does one do with a dead elephant or rhinoceros?