Martians Would Be Alarmed

If a sentient extraterrestrial from Mars monitoring human activity were to review current US trends and events, they would be deeply concerned about the future of both the United States and the planet. Our alarmed Martian would see events of huge magnitude unfolding simultaneously that should inspire our strongest concern. We are witnessing a Republican party which has been described by Noam Chomsky as the most dangerous political group in human history forcing through a corporate tax bill that will provide an obscene windfall for the top 1% while shredding and decimating the middle and working classes. And folks, our middle classes and working classes have been under siege now for 40 years-plus, creating an economic wealth disparity unlike anything seen in US history.

The next time you drink from that toxic well of American Exceptionalism consider that the United States today rates 44th in the world in infant mortality. Given our nation’s wealth, this fact is shameful and damning. However this pales in comparison to what will unfold in the United States if the Republican economic plan is brought to life.

Simultaneously, while Americans struggle with ever greater economic inequality and uncertainty we are experiencing soaring military costs and weapons expenditures that are difficult to even quantify. Consider, for example, our “30-year trillion-dollar nuclear modernization plan” which has recently skyrocketed to a $1.2 trillion price tag,-and this is only the beginning. So while the American middle and working classes are systematically getting shredded and at risk of losing safety nets such as Social Security and Medicaid, we are bankrupting ourselves on endless war. And the cruel irony is we are bankrupting ourselves on weapons systems that, if used, will destroy the planet. And that is one thing Americans had better internalize. The strategists behind our nuclear “modernization” plan share the conviction that we can win and prevail in a nuclear war. And first strike capability is at the heart of our “modernization” plan.

Finally, our Martian observer would be horrified by our current leader’s hatred and contempt for science. We have put into a strategic place of power Scott Pruitt, who now heads  the EPA. This is comparable to having Adolph Eichmann as head of Amnesty International. Pruitt has made a career of cheerleading corporate propaganda denying every aspect of climate change and environmental pollution. Yet he is now at the EPA, busily destroying long-established programs and standards and gutting scientific boards and replacing them with people holding more “diverse” viewpoints on life-threatening climate change. These forces that threaten both participatory democracy and life on Earth are getting stronger and gaining momentum and establishing institutional controls. Our Martian advisor would probably send out a planetary SOS and recommend the rebirth of grass-roots activism that has not been seen since the height of the Civil Rights era. Any effort less than this will disaster for civilization and life as we know it.

Jim Sawyer, Edmonds, Wash.

Believe in the American Way

Daring to be great has always been the American dream. The American national hymns tell it all. The American people become all excited when the beautiful words describing the country in its beauty are sung in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” “This is My Country” and “God Bless the USA.” These are expressions of faith in our American way of life.

However, today, a suffocating smog of despair has embed distrust in its people. It is affecting the mutual understanding that prevails throughout the country. All of these happenings can be attributed to the negativism being spewed from the halls of our government where politicians have come to distrust themselves.

According to the word of Benjamin Franklin: “We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of BABEL.”

The uneasiness that has settled within the American attitude must be challenged. The division that is ruining the American attitude must exist no more. The American people must realize the danger that the country cannot survive if it continues to be divided as it shows to be doing. This attitude of creating division among us only serves to open doors for dictatorship to establish as a new reign in our beloved country.

Our first line of defense against this danger has been and is presently ferociously attacked and that is “The Press.” Once it is outlawed in our country, other expressions of freedom will fall like the Domino Effect.

Wake up America, do not let this menace become reality. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Raynaldo Yrlas Sr, Corpus Christi, Texas

Morally Wrong and Economically Stupid

Republican senators rushed through their tax-cut bill faster, actually, than anyone could read the 534-page tome. Some changes were still being made, in longhand, while the votes were being recorded. Republicans say that they believe giving tax breaks to the very rich will stimulate the economy and create more jobs. That’s just plain wrong.

Corporations are currently holding over a trillion dollars in cash rather than investing in new products and jobs. The tax bonus will simply go to stockholder dividends, now to be taxed at lower rates. The $1.5 trillion benefit to the rich will be paid for by middle-class increases after the paltry tax-cut crumbs left on the table for middle-class taxpayers disappear in a few years, while corporate tax cuts will persist. That’s morally wrong and economically stupid. The economy grows when more money is in the hands of middle-class people who spend it rather than in the hands of the grabby rich who stash it in offshore banks. 

Republicans have excavated a multi-trillion-dollar deep debt just so their plutocratic benefactors can get even richer and more powerful. Our country is in peril, and that’s wrong.

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont, Calif.

Trump and the Code Talkers

I’d like to comment on Donald Trump’s meeting with the Navajo Code Talkers. Wow, what a contrast! On one hand, we have a people who were taken over by our country that didn’t respect them, took away their way of life, forced them onto reservations and generally treated them like dirt, yet they served our country with honor and courage in WW II and were a major force in winning and ending the war.

On the other hand, we have Trump, a draft-dodging, lying, self-centered, fake populist crybaby who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, the beneficiary of his father’s millions, and who has never served in the military, totally degrading the whole ceremony by his reference to Pocahontas. You know, Elizabeth Warren might be only 1/32nd Native American, but Donald Trump is definitely 100% prick!

Mike Eklund, Mercer, Wis.

Make the Children of Elites Serve

Re: “Trump’s Wars” by Jim Hightower [12/1/17 TPP], ever since our government ended the draft, most of our young men and women in uniform are poor young whites, black refugees from the ghettos, and Latinos from the barrios, whose only escape from low-paid work, or no work at all, is to serve as mercenaries in our interminable wars.

That monumental injustice can only be remedied, in my opinion, when all young men and women (rich and poor alike) are summoned to serve their country.

As long as the offspring of the aristocracy keep going to college, while the poor keep dying and suffering war-related disabilities, our wars will go on and on.

But just wait … as soon as the children of CEO’s, judges, and government officials begin coming home blind, mentally damaged or in coffins, their parents will make certain to bring our nation’s foreign military adventures to a quick end. 

David Quintero, Monrovia, Calif.

Trump Voters Are Gone

Contrary to what Katrina Vanden Heuvel writes [“Have Democrats Learned Their Lesson? There’s Reason for Hope,” 12/1/17 TPP], Trump`s voters were not working class Americans.

If you include people of color, the working class voted for Hillary.

The Trump bum`s voters are white supremacist Nazi bigots just like the Trump bum.

These people are not receptive to the Democratic message.

Democrats should work at energizing their base of people of color and liberal whites.

Reba Shimansky, New York, N.Y.

Don’t Sell Trump Short

I stopped reading Bob Burnett’s article “Trump’s Tax Cut Challenge” (12/117 TPP) after one sentence. Burnett errs in stating that “After nine-plus months in office, Donald Trump has accomplished little.” Indeed, Trump’s accomplishments have already inflicted much damage by using his executive powers. For starters, he and his henchman, Scott Pruitt, are virtually destroying EPA, reversing environmental achievements from the last half century through slashing EPA’s budget and other conservation budgets as well as regulatory rollback. Then there’s the upcoming abolition of net neutrality, giving control of the internet to a few huge corporations who, not incidentally, “donate” (actually bribe) substantial funds to the GOP. Finally, the same issue of TPP highlights how rapidly the Senate is approving Trump’s judicial picks after stonewalling President Obama’s nominees for years. It’s more than Neil Gorsuch — scores of positions at district and appellate courts are now being filled with ideologues whose influence will be felt for decades. And there are other examples as well.

It’s bad enough when the mainstream media refers to Trump “... not accomplishing anything.” I would expect a TPP writer to be more diligent.

Bill Cooke, Rutland, Vt.

Franken’s Departure a Loss for Dems

I hope the female Democratic senators are satisfied with their accomplishment in hounding Sen. Al Franken out of the Senate, despite his record of promoting women’s issues, after complaints that he got handsy and kissy with women before he was a senator.

You can argue about the severity of his misdeeds, for which he apologized without admitting wrongdoing, but the fact is that Democrats are down by two in the Senate, where the Republican majority has been confirming every agency head and judicial nominee sent down by Donald Trump, regardless of their qualifications or their ability to administer.

The only immediate hope is the possibility that Democrats might regain the majority in the 2018 election, but Democrats must defend 23 seats along with two independents who caucus with them, while only eight Republicans are up and most of them are in safe seats, with only three solid pickup opportunities in Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee. Now the forced departure of Franken puts another Democratic seat at risk in a swing state two years before Franken’s term would have ended.

Republicans are laughing their butts off that they got Franken out of the Senate, while accused child molester Roy Moore runs for the Senate in Alabama and pussy grabber Donald Trump remains in the White House.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who led the purge of Franken after an anonymous complaint was published in Politico Dec. 6, can forget about running for president in 2020 if this is the way she operates.

Nolan O’Brian, Dallas, Texas

Make Foreign Workers Great Again

The Nov. 17 issue of The Week magazine noted an item from the Palm Beach Post that Trump has been given permission by his cronies at the Labor Department to hire 70 foreign workers for the Mar-A-Lago winter season. They will seerve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers.

To comply with federal rules, these jobs were advertised first, by means of a “tiny” ad in a local paper. No phone number or email address was included; applicants were told to “apply by fax.”

America First, indeed! Go figure.

Betty Crowder, Honeydew, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, January 1-15, 2018


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