Apres Le Deluge…What?

Thanks to the pandemic, millions of jobs have been disappearing–many of them, hopefully, just on hiatus, but many probably for good.

What will America and the world look like when this pandemic has played out? What lessons will we have learned, and how will those lessons change us?

The New York Times has introduced an entire series devoted to the question. Daily Kos recently predicted eleven ways America will change in the wake of the coronavirus. Like many of you, I’ve been discussing with my children and grandchildren the likely reasons for the deadly incompetence of America’s federal governance and the likely consequences for the future.

We have a son who lives  in Amsterdam and a granddaughter who lives in England, so we have an international context within which to evaluate successes and failures; of the two, the Netherlands has clearly (in my view, at least) exhibited the better approach: in addition to the country’s already-robust social safety net, the government has imposed a moratorium on firing people and is subsidizing payrolls for the duration. The Netherlands is predicting an unemployment rate just under ten percent when the pandemic is gone; here, of course, joblessness predictions are far, far higher.

The real question for Americans, of course, is: what cultural attitudes will the pandemic experience change? And how?

Every news show, every advertisement, currently ends with “We are all in this together.” True. Will that recognition outlast the crisis? We are all on this planet together, too, but the threat of climate catastrophe hasn’t notably affected the fossil fuel predators and others more concerned with their bottom lines than with global survival.

Will the pandemic–and its incredible mismanagement–finally awaken Americans to the importance of competent government? To an appreciation of the people conspiracy nuts call “the deep state,” and rational people recognize as committed civil servants?

What about the escalating reports of corruption–reports about  how this despicable administration’s “best people” are enabling looting and polluting while the pandemic provides a distraction? Will American voters and the American media finally understand that character–defined as honesty and “servant leadership”–matter?

Will we finally join the rest of the world, and provide access to health care to all of our citizens, or will America’s “original sin” and continued tribalism prevent us from supporting universal programs that help all people, including black and brown people?  For that matter, will we respond the way we did after the Great Depression, with a new “New Deal” that recognizes that we really are all in this together—and that the pursuit of rational self-interest requires that we build a society that works for everyone?

Will we at least recognize that government’s obligation to protect its citizens extends far–far–beyond maintaining “law and order,” anti-terrorrism efforts and foreign wars (justified and unjustified)? One of the most unforgivable acts by this unforgivable administration was dismantling the efforts put in place by the Obama administration to plan for pandemics–can’t you just see Trump thinking, who will notice, right? That task force is just sucking up resources that we can use to reward donors with subsidies and tax cuts.

When I look at this very incomplete list, and think about other lessons we should learn, they all require a renewed appreciation of the importance of an appropriately structured and constrained government.  Once this election is over, and voters have (hopefully!!) ejected this utterly unfit administration, Americans need to engage in a national conversation about what government is for–what government should and should not do.

That conversation will be critical–and we absolutely cannot allow it to be hijacked by the ideologues and conspiracy theorists and looters.

 

 

 

 

38 thoughts on “Apres Le Deluge…What?

  1. Are we currently in Limbo or Purgatory? Will we come out of whatever state we are in stronger, weaker or will we return to the same careless, wasteful living habits, the easiest way to get things done or will we have learned lessons of what is needed and what is not during this season of enforced deprivation?

    “…will we respond the way we did after the Great Depression, with a new “New Deal” that recognizes that we really are all in this together—and that the pursuit of rational self-interest requires that we build a society that works for everyone?”

    Much will depend on “the people” who are learning, by Trump’s egotistical, ineffectual administration and being deprived of governmental protections, something of what earlier generations lived with as their normal conditions. How will we accept Trump remaining in the White House four more years as we face continued destruction or will we have learned the patience needed to support a Democratic president who must repair severe damage to this once powerful government while trying to make progress being demanded of them? Trump told the truth when he stated he is a War President but not in the sense he believes; we could be coming out of this current Civil War facing a 21st Century Reconstruction period.

    “What will America and the world look like when this pandemic has played out? What lessons will we have learned, and how will those lessons change us?”

  2. Why wait for the election to be over for the country to engage in serious discussions about “what the government is for – what government should and should not do”?
    Before we all vote, during this horrid time of death amid incompetence by our president and his party, we each need to take a hard look at who and what we are as a country.

  3. “That conversation will be critical–and we absolutely cannot allow it to be hijacked by the ideologues and conspiracy theorists and looters.”….and partisans. Even though I’m Dem to the core, this can’t be a one-sided conversation, led only by whoever is “in charge” (we see where that’s gotten us these past years under King Mitch).

  4. LOL, yeah Becky!

    As we can see, it won’t be your boy Pres. Nero! Nor his alter ego president Narcissus!
    He was handed a robust and exploding economy, and could have cut China off at the knees but chose to back out of everything because of his ignorance! He blew up The Paris Accord, He blew up TIP( the transatlantic partnership). Let’s not forget, Trump blowing up the TPP, (Asian trade agreement). All of these things could have stimulated not just an economy of consumerism in the United States, and you can see the results of that right now, it could have kick started a manufacturing boom! He basically ceeded all of the new energy technologies, and their production, such as solar and wind to China and to a lesser extent Vietnam! These productions were supposed to go to former Mining Strongholds in the United States. But because Barack Obama initiated all of these things, he decided he needed to go on another direction. A direction that he could use his grift to enrich himself and cronies with! So why don’t you spare us the Snark, you don’t have a Snark to stand on, LOL!

  5. Well I think we should be able to clearly show the connection between human activity and climate change after we’re back, so that’s a good thing. Although 45 has been taking advantage of our lack of attention to his shenanigans by eliminating even more EPA regs and stopping enforcement activities altogether.

    On the good news front from elections, those Wisconsin voters who were made to stand in line and risk their health to vote have elected a new liberal to their Supreme Court. Republicans were counting on those fewer voters being their own loyalists, but it seems even loyalists know when they’re being used.

    Last night 45 re-asserted his ascendency, saying that he could order everybody back to work and the governors had no say in it. I wonder how he’ll react if he does try that and nobody outside of the red states complies. We’ll see just how impactful those red states are on the economy. We’re in for a bumpy few months. We may even see him try to cancel the election. If he does, can John Roberts let his legacy be the destruction of democracy? We’ll see.

  6. I see at least one major obstacle to progress on settling the dispute about the role of government:

    Inconsistency.

    Especially this inconsistency: The same idiots who say that the Trump government is doing a great job are the same idiots who in their next breath will say government has never done anything right and has no purpose at all.

    One of my favorite books was “The One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding” by Robert Gover (interesting last name in this context). In Gover’s book, two people, Kitten (a prostitute) and a college sophomore (Kitten’s john), in hilarious alternating chapters take turns telling their side of a dispute over her pay and his satisfaction. In the book, the thirty or so chapters of dispute are told by TWO people, but in real life, the dispute over the service of government and the satisfaction of its john–us, the people–rages forever from the schizophrenic psyche of ONE person–that split-souled individual who believes Trump provides excellent government but also believes there is no such thing as excellent government. Nothing hilarious about it.

  7. Trump/Pence/Bannon have hijacked the Koch/Bush/John Birch Society system. They’re not going to give up all that without a fight to the end. Our only hope for a peaceful settlement, at this late date, is to attack the structure of the underlying system before that becomes an impossibility.

  8. Sheila!

    Where do we go after this figurative and not so figurative flood?

    What happened after the biblical flood? Scripture states that a hard line patriarchal society was developed. One that man ruled with an iron hand for the most part. Nimrod was the 1st shining example of that patriarchal society that developed after the flood. Abram and his nephew Lot were favored by God because they showed compassion, they did not use an iron fist, they did not strong-arm, they were agreeable men to each other and to others. So after the flood, as society was rebuilt, King Nimrod had his path cut off, while the path of Abram who became Abraham, and his nephew Lot, became very prosperous in peace and possessions. And through a procession of generations, Christ came from this lineage.

    So where do we go after our current disaster, our flood of incompetence? Ruling with an iron fist, subjugating those in the majority, never works well for a society. It happened in Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his Baath party, that didn’t turn out well for anyone. Communism, true communism has gone the way of the dodo bird, it was unsustainable, especially in a country like China with billions of people. The strain is now on India including its caste system, and currently the burgeoning authoritarian theocracy in the United States.

    And that is just a microcosm of a few things, but none of these things, these human upheavals, are going to make anything peaceful, if anything, it will cause more turmoil because there is no cause that anyone is leaning towards, there is no trying to please a creator, there is only greed as a God! And, this will lead to even more unfair inequity on the masses of people who are not part of the privileged few. Constant upheaval, no stabilization, even when things seem like they could go well, there is always a kink in the pipeline, the good and hopeful get choked off!

    The financial strain on the world right now is way past the breaking point, the only way that they are keeping things moving now, they are printing money like Amazon’s printing cheap books! Eventually global currency is not going to be worth anything! So the combination of everything together, it will cause such a thud in this world, I think the Culling process will be a tribulation, unlike anything that has been seen on this planet before. There definitely will be Nero’s, fiddling as everything burns down, and is there will be the massive sea of people clamoring at the gates in anger, looking for solace and leadership, and finding none. The religious leaders for the most part will not be able to take a moral high ground for leadership, as they have thrown their lot in with the Nero’s. Governments are going to look for ways to supplement their depleted treasuries, they are going to go after these huge religious organizations that have for millennia extorted treasure from those subordinate populations, and take back these treasures.

    This will effectively destroy religion, because instead of sharing their wealth as Christ said they should, they hoard their gold and silver and precious gems. The Greek Orthodox Church could pay off the country’s debt and fix their problems 3 times over, the same can be said for the Vatican and the problems in Italy and other countries in the region, the large amount of religious organizations in the United States could basically do the same thing. So, the governments are aware of this, and when the time is right for them when there is no other way out, they’re going to move on them, and it will be a global movement! People will cheer and weep at the same time.

    At least that’s my opinion,

  9. Absolutely Marv,

    They are trying to reinvent the grift wheel, LOL, and you can hear the toilet flushing on society as we speak.

  10. Sheila calls for a conversation about how we should move forward and most of you continue complaining about how things are….give me a break.

    Let’s start with…there is much work to do and many hands and minds available. Time for a “New New Deal”? Where to begin…infrastructure…more folks at the IRS….people to clean up/maintain the national parks….more teachers…

  11. Imagine this: a President who read a book and acted. From ABC news:
    In the summer of 2005, President George W. Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he began flipping through an advance reading copy of a new book about the 1918 flu pandemic. He couldn’t put it down.

    When he returned to Washington, he called his top homeland security adviser into the Oval Office and gave her the galley of historian John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” which told the chilling tale of the mysterious plague that “would kill more people than the outbreak of any other disease in human history.”

    “You’ve got to read this,” Fran Townsend remembers the president telling her. “He said, ‘Look, this happens every 100 years. We need a national strategy.'”

    MORE: Coronavirus map: Tracking the spread in the US and around the world
    Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan — a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.

  12. Given that Joe Biden is a moderate, I will be surprised if we get a “New Deal” especially if Republicans remain the majority in the Senate.

    What we need is what Albert Schweitzer called a “reverence for life” instead of a society that believes people are disposable especially people of color and stigmatized groups. Like the Buddhists we need to revere all sentient beings. Scientists now say that trees communicate with one another through their roots. Imagine that. We need policies that address global warming. Policies that support a greening of our infrastructure that could also create jobs with a life sustaining income for its workers.

    We also need another tax reform bill that is more equitable. The wealthy need to pitch in their fair share especially now.

    We need policies that allow the FDA to hold the food industry to a higher standard. Those appointed to the FDA should be people of integrity, not people who come from agribusiness. The lack of healthy nutrition in our country contributes to rising health care costs. And, of course, people on food stamps are eating far more inexpensive processed foods. We need to address our “food deserts.” And, of course, we could start addressing that right here in our city with local vegetable gardens.

    This pandemic is forcing us to reduce our consumption of “luxury” goods. Restaurants are a luxury. I wonder if many of us will reduce our consumption when this is all over because we have realized that we don’t need as much as we thought we did. Wouldn’t that be good for us and our planet and a better way to practice reverence for life?

  13. “What about the escalating reports of corruption–reports about how this despicable administration’s “best people” are enabling looting and polluting while the pandemic provides a distraction? Will American voters and the American media finally understand that character–defined as honesty and “servant leadership”–matter?” Yes, it’s the corruption…

    Lester,

    I agree that emphasizing pro-action is our best path forward. Yes, we’ve all been complaining and identifying what is wrong. It’s the corruption, of course. It’s also the denial of facts by the corrupt. SO, job #1 is to get rid of as many Republicans in government as possible. Why? Because they are leading the league in fact and truth denial. They are the promoters of partisanship and childish rants about patriotism and how government should work. Not coincidentally, Republicans are owned and operated by corporate/banking America, the sponsors of the corruption and the enablers of the liars, thieves and grifters. Trump is “merely” their current lord and master brought forth by an easily duped, racist and uninformed collection of truth deniers.

    So, we all need to get off our asses and do whatever it takes to rid the world of Republicans and their dystopian form of government.

  14. Imagine….apologies to one Mr. Lennon…

    – There were few, if any, tax loopholes for the powerful
    – The government had an elite corp of lawyers and consultants examining each new bill for possible ways it could be subverted and fixing those before enactment
    – Lobbying was restricted to just giving good consulting help to make legislation better and fairer
    – National service was a option for young people to help others here
    – There was a Truman like commission to seek out and prosecute corruption

    More verses?

  15. ill forego the joining in today. i actully have to work again today,,,ill pass on what i seen after 2008, jobs that returned,less than half what they paid before the games played by wall street. many workers who were on the same job for decades,came back to the same field for less than half of the wage,or no job at all..no benefits anymore,that were anything near,what we had. retired people,who invested in the markets,broke, pension and retirement funds, never had a chance,seems the brokers allowed them to disappear. there was little in the brokers mind,about saving anyone for anything.. workers who were coming back, seen a less than half average wage,held out by the employers as a take it or leave it attitude. unions were dust. those who voted trump,are probably those who had this very scenrio happen to them,and were looking for a scapegoat. (obama) wall street ran the comeback, and obama had little choice,the fact that the schemes played by those who devised such a market,could only be figured out by them,while, softening the blow to those who were the issue.if the IRS had been making audits on a real time basis,and the SEC were not the same ilk,wall streets greed would have been exposed long before our own greed needs set in..forethought be damn.. greenspan was on the same drunken joy ride,as was all the suits who laughed at everyone who made any comment about its legality. final solution, keep the momey pit intact,throw the crumbs to the legions of workers and watch em grovel for jobs,though they damn near bankrupted the whole working class..there is no sustainability ever thought in market…take from the working class,pass it onto a emence gathering of vultures,(the investors).maybe if the investor was informed on who and why thier investment returns were coming from,(our wages and over priced consumer goods) then maybe,, would have a diffrent attitude to why we dont have a vibrant local econmomy,tax base,and a living wage. this is the real time way we are today. im in the wage gallery,and i see where and when its screwing every working person since reagan. the three seats in washington DC have made it thier lifes work to see they are,
    , as any so called investor,has a padded seat while we do the work.now we will pay back this bailout,by those who see us as a cash cow,for thier needs and someone to continually kick.. jobs again will be devalued as well as our work force,again…wall street again devised this failure in time, and trumps minions are the cheerleaders..this what ya get when you allow wall street into the,white,house… tell joe were going to ride his ass now,WTF!

  16. Lester,

    Times were different then, there was a bit more innocence in the world! Do you honestly believe that National Service is high on anyone’s agenda? You can look at the Twitter feeds of millennial’s, and they’re all doing a rain dance for this housing market to collapse so they can buy one on the cheap!

    The true nature of a country is reflected in its laws, present laws, and the laws that are being changed and enacted here, reflect very poorly on the nature of the country we live in! There is no one to fight the robber barons, there is a robber baron in the White House! Twitter is amazing, it actually allows people to put their conscience in print, available for everyone to see! And, it’s extremely telling.

    History history history history, history repeats itself to everyone’s detriment, because man’s true nature is not one of compassion, it’s one of domination of the weaker. Just as this continent, not to mention our twin southern continent, was dominated by the Europeans, civilizations were wiped off the map, wealth was looted at an unprecedented level, because the civilizations were deemed evil by the monarchies and church, there wasn’t any conscience to be adhered to. After all, why do infidels need anything but the sword and the whip? Once again, read Rudyard Kipling’s White Man’s Burden!

    Do you honestly believe intellect is going to pull anyone’s fat out of the fire? That ship has sailed, that horse left the barn a long time ago, because, flawed intellect is even more dangerous than none at all.

    As Christians, and even as Jews, we are supposed to be practicing servitude to our fellow man! But, that’s very few and far between. True concern for your fellow man would be to give from your need and not your ecess, but who was willing to do that? Any hands raised out there?

    I’ve got a novel idea, why doesn’t the entire planet, every government, every bank, every business, every creditor, every citizen, cancel debt? So the entirety of debt worldwide he canceled, everything could start over fresh! Every single penny of any debt anywhere would disappear! That in itself would work, at least in my opinion. The wealthy could keep their money, the banks could keep what’s in the till, the average citizen whatever they have they could keep, just the debts would be gone across the board.

    There really wouldn’t be any losers because all debt would be eliminated, but, that will never happen, the greed factor is too strong! Because some will always complain that others are getting over, casting and aspersionous eye on someone else . So, history just keeps repeating, nothing will change, people will whine and weep, because, just like a child, mankind is lost! And what does a lost child do? Cry and weep for its parent, but mankind has forgotten who its parent really is.

  17. Marv.
    gloves are off,no prisoners today…….. gotta go, im working in cold weather today,working outside,inspecting and doing repairs on our semis. getting ready for road construction work,its sunny though,and no wind on a treeless plains. a living wage must prevail…

  18. John (WADR)….and people call me naive. How about suggesting things that could be done within the reality of a massive deficit, tremendous divisiveness, fear and mistrust, etc. that would begin to inspire hope and belief in government of, by and for ….the people…

    Love your faith…but it don’t get stuff done…governing isn’t glorious or pretty, it’s making sausage…

  19. I was applying some thought to our current situation a few days ago. I did not live through it the Great Depression seems to closest in terms of impact on our whole society. The social, cultural and economic institutions were shaken to their core. WW 2 had an impact with rationing, etc., there was a projected end when the Axis Powers were defeated. It took a lot of effort and victory was achieved.

    The Great Depression had no projected end and millions were out of work, most with no safety net, like today.

    The big difference is leadership, FDR understood what had to be done and set out to do it.

    The Trumpet is clueless and devotes his time on stage trying to justify his gross negligence and incompetence. The Trumpet stays in character and attacks when challenged. Pastor Pence stands for all the world to see as a pathetic empty suit puppet.

  20. Sheila’s son in Amsterdam is exposed to a “robust social safety net,” as he would be in the Nordic countries and most other European countries. Those countries paid attention to the post-war New Dealers and ran with the ball, while here our New Deal floundered with the election of Reagan. Our New Dealers (including Republicans Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford) had corporate tax rates as high as 92% and lower rates were rarely discussed; Reagan cut those taxes bigly and gave us a recession and a corresponding jump in deficits with his deunionization of the work force and tax giveaways to the rich and corporate class. While complaining of big spending, he was a big spender, i.e., he spent our tax money on making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Median wages that had moved in tandem with the Dow during the New Deal heyday stopped where they were (and adjusted for inflation, still are) during his reign while the Dow went stratospheric.

    Perhaps as bad as his poor bashing was his disdain for government with his “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” mindless banter, and the distinction in the way Americans and Europeans look at the role of government is, I think, the fundamental problem inherent in Sheila’s piece today. Reagan and his greedy Republican cadre mercilessly put down government, made government the enemy, and successfully poisoned the minds of voters in this connection, unlike during the New Deal when government was indeed the friend of the people. I think the attitude that government is bad is widespread today and that such distrust in government is the reason why we don’t like to pay taxes, hate food stamps and other such “help” from the gummint, unlike in Europe, where voters don’t mind paying higher taxes because they trust their governments and get their money back in several different ways – like single payer healthcare, gleaming infrastructure, bullet trains, child care, labor representation on corporate boards, factory workers in Germany where workers make 35-40 dollars an hour, vacations and six paid weeks off for both mother and father with the birth of a child, etc. etc. etc. Here we spend the money via tax cuts to the rich and corporate class while thousands sleep on the sidewalks and 41% of bankruptcies are due to inability of the sick and injured to pay medical bills, among other such atrocities.

    But to the point > I think that distrust in government is the problem and that it has caught on even among the working class, which affords the rich the opportunity to plunder the treasury, as we are seeing today with trillions in rescue (not stimulus) funds up for grabs while a few bones are thrown to the peasants to keep them out of the streets. The problem in solving the problem via restoration of trust in government in the face of entrenched interests and their poisonous propaganda will not be easy, but if we are to come into the 21st century, necessary.

  21. Gerald,
    “Our New Dealers (including Republicans Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford) had corporate tax rates as high as 92%…”

    I read that assertion often and have looked it up, and find that it’s true. IT’S TRUE!!!!!!

    But, other than reading my own stuff, I’ve never seen anyone point out that contrary to a very popular assumption–raise taxes on the corporations and they will refuse to invest in production–the corporations of the New Deal era rushed to invest in production in spite of high taxes. Doesn’t that disprove the major objection to higher taxes on corporations?

    Shouldn’t that fact be emphasized EVERY TIME the subject of higher taxes on corporations weeps its way onto the table?

    Why does the false idea that taxes will drive corporate wealth to refuse to invest in production become the broad-based assumption we all seem acquiescent of? I think it’s because the truth of investment behavior of corporations during high taxation is rarely put on the table, put in print, or spoken out loud.

    EVERYONE…Repeat after me one million times: “History proves that high taxes on corporations DO NOT cause corporations to stop investing in production. And get it out there every time a complaint about high taxes lands on the table.

  22. I see several different relevant areas. (1) One area – relates to “politics”. (2) One area – relates – to work towards – systemic change. (3) A final area – relates to simple- basics to work towards.

    Starting with (3) first – we should be working towards – relatively simple ideals – relating to economic equity and avoiding corruption and making things fairer. Such policies should value – work and Not reward investments/capital. People should be seen to have a basic right to: housing, food and healthcare.

    Example: Personal Income Taxes: Individuals: $15,000 personal exemption, $25,000 couple’s exemption, $5000/child up to two (or three) children. No additional exemptions. Tax rate: 20% under $100,000, 30% – up to $300,000 and 35% – over $300,000. Investment/capital gains – taxed at full-rate. Example: Single individual – no dependents making $40,000/year – 40-15 = 25 x .2 = $5000/year = 12.5%, Couple with 2 children making $80,000/year = 80-35 = 45 x .2 = $9000 = 11.25%, Couple with 2 children making $200,000 = 200-35 = 165 – 100 x .2 = 20 + 65 x.3 = 13 = $33,000 = 16.5%, Couple with 2 children making $1,000,000/year = 1000-35 = 965, 100 x .2 = 20, 200 x .3 = 60 + 700 x .35 = 245 = 245 + 60 + 20 = 325 = 32.5%.

    Health insurance – if not single payer – should somehow be reformed – either so employers don’t have it or so they are credited for their insurance costs – so that there is No marginal cost of an additional employee – based upon health/dental/optical – health benefits and so that particularly lower income people – have minimal or no medical costs beyond token co-pays.

    Corporate taxes – should be reformed – so that Amazon and Microsoft and Apple — for example – pay taxes – based upon their incredible receipts of money.

    Inheritance taxes – should cover sizable estates – such as over $10,000,000 – at a reasonable rate

    (2) Systemic change – We need to work – recognizing that we live in a society with systemic: racism, sexism and classism – at a minimum. Reform may take time – but we work confronting the inequalities that we have – that not only hurt People of Color – but also keep women “down” and cause poor people to live in dangerous – toxic environments, etc. In this area – as well as area (1) below – we need to recognize the political system corruption that goes well beyond the Republican Party. Quid Pro – quo’s need to be confronted – CT – senators – protect insurance companies, TX/LA – senators protect oil interests – tough areas – but important,
    (1) Politics – we need to build our political involvement – and help build accountability in our election system. We need to get away from Trashing Trump and Republicans – and similar as our basic – approach – and build – from the bottom up – getting effective leadership. In 2020 – we have opportunities – to get Democrats more in power – but it will take a lot more – as Democrats alone – will continue much of the status quo.

    We need to try to be both radical and realistic. We need to deal with the divisions that exist today and figuring out how to best confront the current effort to create a Dictatorship in our country. It is both simple and complex. We need to address the obvious fact – that – feelings and fear – are played upon. Getting reform – will require – us to deal with the fears and relating to peoples’ feelings. Oft times – the news media and politicians ignore the feelings. 47% of the country’s people are not convinced by the Intellect of Donald Trump. They are influenced by their emotions. Thanks!

  23. As a resident of New York State I learned a lot from the pandemic about states rights. It turns out that we have a Governor infinitely more competent and less corrupt than our President is and we have a local problem. New York City Is the epicenter for the pandemic in the US and has been for quite awhile. A competent President could have taken charge but chose not to. Our competent Governor stepped in and in fact did take charge. Now, the blame and brag crowd in DC would like to do their the brand management thing and come out looking like they actually contributed.

    To me the experience signaled that the states have to backstop the Federal Government. They are part of the necessary checks and balances to insure that government in total serves where it must.

  24. One of the things that has troubled me about the Republican view of government is that the concept of “government is the problem” is an admission that Republican leadership is the problem. It is tantamount to saying that we, Republicans, don’t know how to solve problems so must leave it to others.

    My response to the statement and the problem has been all along, fine, thanks for the admission. We however need a solution to your public realization about your capabilities and that’s to vote blue and replace those who say they are the problem with people who say they are the solution.

  25. Lester,
    Of course every government on the planet would never ever agree to debt forgiveness. when the United States rebuilt Europe after the second world war, that money was never repaid! If they all got together maybe through the United Nations or what have you and decided that that would be the best route to go, the best course to chart, it could be done. Because of every single debt to the last penny was forgiven on the planet, no one would be the loser. Maybe a fresh start with some thought behind it would be a good thing!

    but Mans inability to get along with his fellow man, and his desire to do unto his neighbor, we’ll totally make that possibility an impossibility. The size of a debt or deficit shouldn’t matter, because at the rate they are printing money now, they might as well go ahead and do it because none of it’s going to be worth anything in short order.

    This morning, there was cars lined up over a mile long to get to one of the food stores here, and another line heading to the bank. So, the freak out is starting in earnest. At a time like this, when the world is basically shut down anyway, they could tell everyone that their debts are gone! Mortgages, collections, loans by corporations personal loans car loans everything. Student loans, college tuition payments, everything that was accrued up to a specific point in time. Money that was borrowed by the car manufacturers or oil companies and what have you, those would all be forgiven, every single penny of debt, forgiven!

    Now that’s thinking out of the box, but, it’s pudding undo face and humanity, and the nature of greed would never allow it to happen.

    An example of man’s greed is given by Jesus Christ in his parable of the evil slave. Matthew 18: 21 – 35

    The one head slave had no mercy on his subordinates when he demanded repayment of loans, and he paid the price because his master found out what he had done and demanded that the head slave pay back everything that was owed the Master. and then because he couldn’t pay, he was thrown in prison.

    This is the mentality of mankind, and until that changes, history will repeat itself continuously until there is no more history to repeat!

  26. Apres le deluge, in my neighborhood many will conclude that “I held onto what was mine, what’s wrong with you?” Unless this trauma leads to a fundamental re-assessment (and realigning) of our values, we will end up where we started – so self-absorbed and self-deluded that we deserve the government that worked to kill us. Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman , not Jesus Christ or Mahatma Gandhi, rule our era. Ignorance is king. Greed is good. Intellect and empathy and self-sacrifice are passe.

    I’d prefer to believe that this close call we’ve just been through will serve as an epiphany about what matters and how only big brains and huge hearts can get us through the next hundred years. But the inertia of the herd is dragging us under, and on many days they seem triumphant. Abetted by the narcissists who specialize in exploiting them, they may be winning this tug of war.

  27. Ms. Kennedy,

    Your thoughts on Indiana’s Rep. Trey Hollingsworth’s position that lawmakers must “Put On Their Big Boy and Big Girl Pants” and let Americans die. According to Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, between dying of the coronavirus and a recession, dying “is the lesser of two evils.”

    https://apple.news/AbyOKzofsTPW5hncsN59CVg

  28. Hey Terry,

    I agree! But, like I mentioned yesterday, and was shot down by some, big brains or intellect doesn’t mean being smart. Having a large modicum of common sense, compassion, morals, ethics, and logical comprehension, is better than someone having an IQ of 200!

    Being a willing learner, reading, studying, and acting upon, is what’s going to make this world a much better place. Everyone for the most part laughs at a person having faith concerning religion, but faith is faith! All faith is not the same, just as all religion is not the same! Faith healers are fake, speaking in tongues is fake, snake handling and drinking strychnine to test faith is not just fake, it’s stupid!

    Luke 4:9-12
    9 He then led him into Jerusalem and stationed him on the battlement of the temple and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you, to preserve you,’ 11 and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 In answer Jesus said to him: “It is said, ‘You must not put YHWH your God to the test.’”

    Faith has descended into a myth, unless an individual can observe the progression of faith, then they have no interest in it. People have faith in this government, that’s observable! But is that faith warranted? Absolutely not, you have faith in that paycheck? Do you have faith in your doctor? Do you have faith in that light switch you flip on in the morning? Do you have faith starting your car? Probably! But, because mankind has hijacked something beyond them, faith is now passé.

    It’s then much easier to go against the collective conscience, because that little red warning light can be ignored, and the grifters can manipulate the intellectuals, at least enough of them to reach their goals, kind of like the anti-science scientists who supported cigarette smoking, heroin use, fought against the Clean Water Act, and climate change! Just enough to derail arguments to the contrary.

    It truly is a crooked and corrupt system, keep the TRUE faith, Hebrews 11:1-10.

  29. My favorite line above – “…the pursuit of rational self-interest requires that we build a society that works for everyone?…” My sound-bite-sized way of saying it – “We take care of ourselves by taking care of each other.” I often describe my political and social justice activism as self-interest, not idealism or altruism. In the union movement we call it solidarity.

  30. Sheila – you are being very nice to Hollingsworth – I would use stronger language.

    We have a system where the Right destroyed unions and denigrated government. With no government and no unions, the Koch type bullies rule without restraint. That was their purpose. A small federal government was great in the horse and buggy era. Even at our country’s founding, the weak federal government under the Articles of Confederation was a disaster.

    We need to get beyond our belief that the Articles of Confederation was an ideal. We need to recognize that a strong federal government is necessary to deal with the “shrunken” world we live in. We also need to reinstate checks and balances to go along with that. I would hope that we have learned this. This applies to the economy too. Unfettered Capitalism – Yes, Amy Klobucher – states bid against each other and the federal government to buy ventilators – Capitalism. Checks and balances – three co-equal branches of government – business, unions and government for the economy.

    We need to learn that the world is small and that we are all in this together.

    Personally, I hope that we would learn that Hollingsworth is a horse’s ass and that taking care of people – each other – is way more important than Trey’s trillions. As Mama taught me (unrepentant bleeding heart liberal that she was) we should care about people and use objects, not the other way around.

  31. A lot of thoughts here. Not too much personal venom. I,from a place where fossil fuel is the engine of our success.We give huge amounts to less successful provinces for years.I shuddered when you call us fossil predators. Want a list of the stuff you do is based on mfossil fuels. There are hundreds of products. There is nothing on the horizon to replace it,nothing yet! If the jerks that block pipeline construction ,walks to their unlawful sites of protest,I would admire them.No,they drive up there in modern cars,fueled by gas,not hot air!

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