What Will We Do?

In the past week, I have heard of at least two Republican members of Congress who basically said that what is happening in Ukraine is awful and that we should support Ukraine … with thoughts and prayers, but not anything that costs the U.S. money.  At least one, Warren Davidson of Ohio, was complaining about the inclusion of the $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine that was included in the larger — much larger — spending bill passed last week.  No doubt the views of these two are largely representative of their party as a whole.  In my opinion, this “America First” bullshit needs to end NOW!  Today there was a newsletter from Robert Reich waiting in my inbox.  It is short but describes ever so well the situation we’re in today …

Helplessness in the face of evil

An allegory

Robert Reich, 14 March 2022

It’s like watching a three-hundred-pound bully beat up a kid half his size, for no reason — bloodying the poor kid, pulverizing him. Yet you don’t dare try to stop the mayhem because the bully has a gun that he’ll use on you if you intervene.

You look for police, but there are none.

You round up your friends, who join you in shouting at the bully. But he pays no attention. They threaten that if he doesn’t stop they’ll no longer go bowling with him or invite him out for drinks. Their threats have no effect. The bully continues beating up the kid.

Your friends refuse to take further action. They don’t want to provoke his wrath. They’re as afraid of the bully’s gun as you are.

By now the kid is desperate. You give him some water. He pleads for a knife. You slip him some brass knuckles.

The kid puts up a good fight. You marvel at the kid’s courage and stamina in the face of such brutality. Maybe he can hold the bully off for a while, you think.

But the kid’s resistance infuriates the bully even further. The bully clobbers the kid with everything he has.

The barbarism is occurring in front of your eyes. It’s revolting to watch. Every moral fiber of your being shouts “do something!” Yet you’re paralyzed. It’s suicide if you intervene, but it’s moral suicide if you don’t.

You want to believe the kid can force the bully to retreat, but you know the kid doesn’t stand a chance.

You can no longer bear witness to this slaughter. You have to avert your eyes. Or you have to act. What do you do?

The time has come to make a decision … what will we do?


So, Congress has yet again passed a bill to avert a government shutdown just as they’ve done every year for the past umpteen years … it’s become a joke … wait ‘til the last minute to get your act together and people will praise you while they ignore what you’ve actually produced.  Ho-hum. Yesterday evening, the Senate passed the $1.5 trillion spending bill that the House had passed earlier this week.  $1.5 TRILLION!!!  That is 30 million times what the average wage earner earns!  The first thing that galls me is that the Democrats in the House caved on the issue of helping people when they dropped the $15.6 billion in COVID relief funding that included money for research and development of treatments and vaccines.  When the next surge hits, the next variant arises from the ashes, they may regret that decision, but it was said that the Republicans wouldn’t seriously consider the bill as long as those provisions were part of it.  But they damn sure found it in their shriveled little hearts to include a number of other things, including pay raises for themselves!!!

The bill calls for an increase in funding for congressional offices by 21%, to $774.4 million!  What the Sam Hell have any of our not-so-illustrious members of Congress done to deserve a pay raise?  It would also provide $602.5 million for the Capitol Police, an increase of $87 million. This will allow for the hiring of up to 2,112 sworn officers and 450 civilian members of the Capitol Police.  Now, while I have tremendous respect for the Capitol Police, especially after January 6th of last year, they wouldn’t need an additional 2,000+ officers if the Republicans, led by TFG (the former guy), stopped encouraging radical nudniks to overthrow the government!

The bill also calls for a $675 million increase for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to “improve customer service”!!!  WTF … the IRS doesn’t do ‘customer service’ … they are a strongarm agency, and the intent is to intimidate, to squeeze out of taxpayers every dime they can, not to serve!  I applied for a job with the IRS once shortly after earning my B.A. in Accounting and was told that I was “too nice” to work for them!  And why do they need $12.6 billion, the total amount awarded to the IRS in the spending bill, to run an agency that does no more today than it ever did?

$75 million will go for ‘election security’, money to be given to the states to help them enforce their voter restrictions so that only Republicans can win elections from now on!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The increase that raises my hackles the most, though, is the increase in military spending.  The U.S. already has the highest military budget of any nation on the globe!  The United States spends more on national defense than China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Australia — combined.

All those damned tanks, guns, missiles — tools designed only to KILL people aren’t going to do one damned thing to help the people of this country!  We already have enough weapons to end all life on the entire planet!!!  We the People need things that will help us … food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care … but nooooooo … our tax dollars have to go to support a glutinous military complex, most of which cannot even be used for fear of starting the “war to end all wars”.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Meanwhile, such things as providing funds to help people out of poverty received no increase, no mention.  The U.S. has one of the highest child poverty rates in the world …

But instead of focusing on helping the people of this nation, Congress is more intent on giving themselves pay increases and buying more ‘boys toys’ for the military to brag about!

There is also $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine … I applaud this one and would have been appalled had it not been included.

At a whopping 2,741 pages, no I have not read the bill in its entirety but rather a few summaries.  However, if you are interested, you can read it if you’ve got the time and patience.   Meanwhile, I am thoroughly disgusted by members of both parties in Congress … people whose salaries WE pay and who just gave themselves a pay raise that WE DID NOT grant them!  Why would we raise their pay when they’ve accomplished almost nothing for years now???  They couldn’t even protect our rights to vote!!!  The Republicans are just asses who pander to big business and the wealthy at our expense, and Democrats are wusses who will cave to the demands of the Republicans!  If my voice reached further, I would try to start a tax revolution … stop paying income taxes until Congress hears us and actually listens!  We pay and pay and pay, and we get very damn little in return.  FIRE DA BUMS!!!