Daily Archives: June 16, 2012

Bad times

I apologize for the long silence.  I’ve been packing and moving a school and unpacking it at the other end.  Also, it’s been hard to write anything sensible during the circus of the Republican primaries and the election campaign since.  It would be so nice to think of something cheerful and optimistic about what is going on in the US and in the World, but everywhere people seem afflicted by the “Austerity Disease”.  In Greece it’s despair is killing old men with their own guns, and quite likely to drive the country out of the Eurozone.  In Fact the European Union appears to be coming apart at the seams.  The lack of demand is slowing down even China, and how does that help the rest of us?

In the US, the Republicans are so intent on damaging President Obama that they apparently don’t see (or don’t care about)  the greater damage they are doing to our economy and the futures of millions of ordinary people.  How can business create jobs, when there is no demand for their products because people have no money to spend on anything but basic survival, and sometimes not even that?  I just don’t understand how the conservative mind works, either here at home or in Europe.  All this pain has been so unnecessary, but I’m afraid it will get worse before it gets better.  Has Romney thought about how he might fix all the damage his fellow Republicans have done to the country both at the national and the state level by their insistence on Deficit reduction and tax cuts, but cutting the jobs of state & federal workers and then refusing to bargain with those who are left?  

I’m afraid that a Romney win in November will just make things worse, although with Obama facing a Republican dominated Congress again wouldn’t be much better.

Parts of the rest of the world are even sadder.  Egyptians are watching their Revolution escape through their fingers even while they try to elect a new president between 2 choices few are happy with.  It looks very much as if the Army is set to take over again, and that will be a tragedy.

In Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki keeps moving closer and closer to consolidating dictatorial powers in his own hands rather than reaching out to other groups and building some sort of consensus.  As a result the bombs are going off again, and opposing politicians are being put in prison or escaping into exile abroad.

Syria is descending into full-scale civil war as the UN gives up its attempts at mediation and leaves the country. Congressional Republicans want us to get into the fight militarily, but how are we to do that without the help of other countries who refuse.  Besides, what good could we possibly do if we sent arms or put boots on the ground? (And putting those boots on the ground might be extremely costly and dangerous.  Syria is not Iraq.)  Aren’t the Syrians suffering enough without us?  Hasn’t our military seen enough of fighting without result in the last 10 years without throwing them into more of the same in a country whose language and customs we do not understand?  Is Libya really better off now because we “helped” them militarily overthrow their dictator? It seems to me that all our hugely expensive military activity since 9/11 has done nothing much good for us or for the countries we “helped”.

I will vote in November and cross my fingers, but I doubt things will get much better for a long time to come.