MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘sheltering in place’

Will Americans Submit to a Second Lockdown? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 20, 2020

The political divide has already begun to appear.

The proponents of a second shutdown will be liberal governors and mayors, the mainstream media and the Nancy Pelosi wing of Congress.

It should not go unmentioned that the latter’s political interests are best served the longer the shutdown endures and the worse the economic situation on Nov. 3. If the economy has failed to begin a robust recovery by fall, the greater the odds that Joe Biden wins the White House.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/patrick-j-buchanan/will-americans-submit-to-a-second-lockdown/

By

On March 24, President Donald Trump said he wanted the country and the economy “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”

Easter came and went. And Trump was mocked for being aspirational and unrealistic. Yet, with Ascension Thursday at hand, 40 days after Easter, the president seems to have been ahead of his time.

The country, as a whole, is, and has been, opening up. Sunday’s New York Times reports that, for weeks now, more than two-thirds of the states have been relaxing restrictions as Trump had urged.

The reasons: weariness with the lockdown and sheltering in place, a growing belief that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and undeniably positive news from several fronts in the coronavirus war.

“New Cases in U.S. Slow,” ran The New York Times top headline Sunday, adding the cautionary warning, “Posing Risks of Complacency.”

The facts suggest a positive trend. The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has been dropping for a month. The number of deaths has fallen from 2,200 a day in April to closer to 1,400 a day in mid-May. Several days last week recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths, an awful toll but a clear improvement over April.

As of Friday, the rate of new cases of the coronavirus was declining in 19 states and rising in only three. New Orleans and Detroit have seen sharp drops. The number of new cases in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has dropped. New cases in Cass County, Indiana, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where meatpacking plants had seen outbreaks, have declined.

“On eight of the past nine days,” said the Times, “there have been fewer deaths announced than there were seven days prior, indicating that the virus toll appears to be easing. More than half of the 24 counties that have recorded the most coronavirus deaths, including Oakland County, Mich., and Hartford County, Conn., are seeing sustained declines.”

Still, the thrust of the Times article was about the new crisis we will be courting, should we try to resume normal activities too soon. Do that, says the Times, and we could easily forfeit all the progress we have made.

Message: Social distancing, sheltering in place, wearing masks, working at home — the practices that broke the back of the pandemic — should be sustained for those able to do so.

Clearly, the opening in many states has been driven by popular protest and public demand. Crowds have ignored social distancing to demonstrate for an end to the shutdown. Protesters have refused to wear masks and engaged in the time-honored practice since the ’60s of civil defiance and disobedience.

The protesters seem to be saying: We deplore the losses and know the risks, but we cannot live our lives behind closed doors in our homes until the elites tell us, as though we were children, when we may go out in the yard.

Hence, the next question we are all likely to confront:

If there is a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus, a second wave, and the media elite and blue state governors demand a new shutdown, a new closure of beaches, parks, shops, restaurants and churches, will the people of this republic comply with those demands or defy them?

Will the nation answer back to the elites: We did that. We sheltered in place. We wore the masks. We socially distanced. We stayed in our homes. We stayed home from work. We have done all we were told to do to contain the virus. But, now, with the shutdown having put 36 million Americans on unemployment and sunk our GDP to Depression-era levels, we’re going back to work.

The political divide has already begun to appear.

Among those making the case for ending the shutdown and reopening the country and economy will be Trump, red state governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Brian Kemp in Georgia, conservatives in Congress and populists.

The proponents of a second shutdown will be liberal governors and mayors, the mainstream media and the Nancy Pelosi wing of Congress.

It should not go unmentioned that the latter’s political interests are best served the longer the shutdown endures and the worse the economic situation on Nov. 3. If the economy has failed to begin a robust recovery by fall, the greater the odds that Joe Biden wins the White House.

Yet, even if the pandemic returns in the fall, the establishment cannot keep the country closed indefinitely.

Prediction: If the people conclude they have done all they can do to mitigate the suffering from a virus they cannot eradicate, they will resist the imposition of another shutdown, and the establishment will have neither the will nor ability to push them back into their homes.

Ultimately, the people will decide when this shutdown ends, and when a plurality so concludes, the elites will be swept aside.

 

 

 

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Rotating on Boredom’s Spit – Edward Curtin

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2020

http://edwardcurtin.com/rotating-on-boredoms-spit/

“And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream we’ve both seen”
– John Prine, Hello in There

Without the ability to forget, we become imprisoned within a collective mental habit that induces us to repeat things that are as hard to escape as is trying to unlearn how to ride a bicycle. This results in the experience of boredom that John Prine captures in the above epigraph from his moving song, “Hello In There,” where the daily news reports seem so old to an elderly couple because they are so repetitive and not new and they realize that. Now that not just old folks are “in there” and people of all ages are “sheltering in place,” the ability “to forget what it is worse than useless to remember,” as Thoreau put is, has become more important than ever if one wishes to not be driven crazy with boredom of the self- and socially-induced kinds.

“Oh, every thought that’s strung a knot in my mind/I might go insane if it couldn’t be sprung,” Bob Dylan sang in “Restless Farewell,” echoing Thoreau.

As a motivating force in human affairs, boredom is hard to beat.  Hatred, envy, lust, love, anger, jealousy: these are some of the alluring emotions that are often emphasized.  But boredom – it is so boring!  Why go there?  It seems too simple an explanation for human behavior, yet nothing is more complex and powerful.

Boredom is like sex once was long ago – a taboo.  To admit one is bored is to confess to the modern equivalent of a mortal sin.  I think there is an unacknowledged agreement to deny the truth of boredom for what it can reveal about how we live and die.  For boredom is intimately tied to our experience and understanding of time and space, and time in its turn is the home from which the modern mind is exiled, as we wander nowhere in a transcendental homelessness, without leaving the places where we are while already being no longer there.  To contemplate our existential and social confusion terrorizes people.

Since it is hydra-headed, boredom’s truths are many.  It is often the flip side of the constant agitation and false excitation of modern life and the search for diversion.  Conversely, modern manic high-tech busyness, while aimed at repressing boredom, simultaneously serves the function of boring through intense repetition, numbing those who seek to use it to escape boredom. It’s a rotating spit.

In the culture of the copy, everything is replayed, rerun, recapitulated, reiterated, repeated, reproduced, replicated, over and over and over again. Unlike our lives that pass in a flash one time only, we are living in a techno world where we have internalized the machine and unconsciously think we can digitally record our lives and play them again.

Going live tends to irritate and scare people.

So the solution to boredom becomes a problem equal to the boredom itself. It becomes boring. One is trapped, going round and round, even if one doesn’t know it.  Then there are those who keep themselves extremely busy, buzzing like an insect’s hum, and deny they are ever bored.  They are some of the most boring people you can find, because the sound of their busyness produces no echo since it sounds over a sea of nothingness, as Kierkegaard put it

The current societal coronavirus shutdown that has people locked in their homes under house arrest offers a perfect example of agitated digital boredom at its finest.  The incarceration is a two-headed monster serving to drive people quite mad and very anxious as they go nowhere but around and around on the information superhighway, setting the stage for the day the authorities press the release button and people manically rush out into the streets, thanking their bosses for their freedom.

It is a common experience for people who are “sheltering in place” to say their sense of time is distorted and they aren’t sure what day it is.  A sense of temporal disorientation prevails, just as it does for those in prisons.  “Every ruling minority needs to numb and, if possible, to kill the time-sense of those it exploits,” wrote John Berger.  “This is the authoritarian secret of all methods of imprisonment.”

What was once felt but rarely said to be the boredom of “normal” life with its tedious rounds of the same old-same old will feel like liberation and a gift from the authorities when the go button is pressed.  The daily rounds of getting and spending will commence with shouts of joy.  The “new” normal, however, will quickly seem old as the daily grind, which is reality for most working people, resumes, even if at reduced wages and lost opportunities and carried out within a social spectacle that will produce “exciting news” that will be repeated repetitively to keep people aroused, “engaged,” and fearful of the next crisis erupting even as so many go bankrupt.  Angst will float in the bubble of hyper-reality as the economic screws are tightened on working people everywhere.

If you can keep yourself busy and preoccupied with trivia and shopping; if you can consume news, entertainment, and social media 24/7; if you can embrace all the weapons of mass distraction offered, then you can deny that boredom is speaking to you, even when these methods of avoiding boredom are themselves monotonously boring.  Self-deception and social control are conjoined tricksters.

Boredom has many voices, but the most feared yet liberating message it utters may be: “You are trapped on the merry-go-round of the living dead, bored to death, repeating yourself. You are being oppressed by an unjust social order and are being conned. Why not start living.”  This is the experience of boredom that can give rise to revolt and the urge for freedom, something radically upsetting to both the trapped and their trappers. Echo’s voice is liberated to speak when people are willing to listen.

The essential element of boredom is repetition and monotony; knowing that day follows dusty day and you are going to read, hear, or experience the same thing again and again. As Macbeth says:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day….

In a terrifying take on this idea, Nietzsche suggested, through his idea of eternal recurrence, that we best be very careful how we live each moment since they are eternal, and that after death we will have to live our lives over and over again down to the slightest detail, while remembering that we are doing so.  Eternal repetition sounds a bit boring, wouldn’t you say? Now that’s a thought to rouse one from lethargy and perhaps escape boredom for good.

Interestingly, modernity has forced upon us the necessity for choice.  Constant choices are demanded of us, and the more choices we have in a high-tech capitalist consumer culture, the more boring repetitions we encounter. One reason for this is the need of the corporations, government, and the media to offer us something “new” every hour of every day. Pseudo-events and “news” are manufactured non-stop.  And the “new” is updated, with the “new” so often turning out to be old, a variation on a theme across all forms of media and the consuming life.  Having to fill up the space and their pockets, these corporations are experts at repetition, and repetition is the key to effective propaganda.

Have you noticed that when you go to your favorite television station or website, you will encounter endless repetition?  If you switch channels or websites – from liberal to conservative, etc. – you will see that most are beating the same drum, flipped to one side or the other.  These days it’s coronavirus-coronavirus-coronavirus, Trump-Trump-Trump; endless droning on today about what was droned on about yesterday.  Soon the subject will change, and be repeated until something else is manufactured to keep people occupied and bored.  You can easily fill in the blanks.

But why do people subject themselves to such boring repetition?  Could the writer William Saroyan’s flippant remark shed some light on this phenomenon?  Regarding the claim that smoking causes cancer, he said, “You may tend to get cancer from the thing that makes you want to smoke, not from the smoking itself.”

Could wanting to flee existential and social boredom by embracing the culturally proffered means to do so, be the real problem?  What is it about boredom that so frightens people?  Does boredom scare people to death?  Is getting as far away from death the goal?  But is not the flight from death the flight from life and therefore the embrace of death?

I think the quest to seek a solution to boredom is the problem.  Walter Benjamin said it beautifully in “The Storyteller”:

Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.  A rustling in the leaves drives him away.

But such creative boredom demands a silent patience and a state of mental relaxation that is almost extinct.  It can only be experienced if one dwells and does not flee into action.  It means forgetting what an oppressive society wants us to always remember.

Maybe in a mediated world where direct experience is becoming more and more uncommon – as we live in a world of screens and filters and electronic gadgets that occupy our living space – we are afraid of fully experiencing inspired boredom because it may force us to consider living.  And since living is change, and change is always new, it frightens us. It means time goes by. But without embracing change we cannot make social change.  We may think we can, but we will be doing the same old boring thing and strengthening the existing system.

To rotate on boredom’s spit is to slowly die.

Alan Watts once wisely said:

To resist change, to try to cling to life, is therefore like holding your breath: if you persist, you kill yourself.

Only when it hatches, can the dream bird fly.

Be seeing you

 

 

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JOHN KIRIAKOU: Now Imagine House Arrest – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2020

Two hours later, this same young man went with his 8-year-old brother to a local elementary school playground to play catch with a baseball.  Within minutes, two police cars showed up with lights flashing and threatened to arrest them for “violating the quarantine.” Again, they weren’t breaking the law. But they’re kids being threatened by cops. 

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/04/15/john-kiriakou-now-imagine-house-arrest/

By John Kiriakou

Special to Consortium News

Most of the country has been sheltering in place for weeks.  At first it was kind of fun, so long as we were generally healthy. Instead of getting up early, showering, getting dressed for work, and beginning a long commute, you could just roll out of bed, log on, and start your day.  But that got old pretty quickly.  Many of us started to feel a little stir crazy.  And as the pandemic dragged on, things got worse.  A Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found that 45 percent of adults say their mental health has declined during the pandemic, with 19 percent saying that the pandemic has had a “major impact” on their states of mind.  Covid-19 is literally making us crazy, especially if you already suffer from depression or anxiety.

So with that as background, imagine being under house arrest, or, what the government calls “home confinement.”  Most Americans probably assume that people who are released from prison and are sent to home confinement are grateful.  They get to sit around all day and watch TV, right? But that’s not it at all.  When you are released from prison to home confinement, it means just what it sounds like.  You cannot leave the confines of the four walls of your house.  You can’t go outside, even into your own yard. You’re stuck, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Those walls begin to close in on you.  Depression and anxiety set in or worsen.  You begin to miss prison.  That’s exactly where we find ourselves right now.

Tougher Than Prison

In my experience, home confinement was far tougher than actual prison. In prison, I could go out to the yard and exercise.  I could hang out with my friends, play basketball, pool, or work out in the rudimentary gym.  Not so with home confinement.  Here we live on top of each other and there’s nothing we can do about it.  (My best friend from prison called me last night and said, “How do you like house arrest redux?”  He was exactly right.  This is house arrest and I don’t like it one bit.)

And just like recently-released prisoners, we have to worry about overzealous cops.  The son of a good friend of mine was sitting on a park bench in a park near his house in Arlington, Virginia yesterday.  There was literally nobody else in the park.  After only a few minutes, a cop pulled up and shouted at him with a bullhorn: “Quarantine!  Go home!” The cop was wrong, of course. Virginians are allowed out to exercise and they are allowed to go to the park, so long as they don’t congregate.  But the kid went home.  Two hours later, this same young man went with his 8-year-old brother to a local elementary school playground to play catch with a baseball.  Within minutes, two police cars showed up with lights flashing and threatened to arrest them for “violating the quarantine.” Again, they weren’t breaking the law. But they’re kids being threatened by cops.  So they picked up their ball and went home.  The situation is the same for recently-released prisoners.  Get caught outside and the cops show up.  Challenge them and they’ll make your life miserable. This new normal weighs on all of us. It’s hard to get used to.  We don’t like it.

I think we can agree that a quarantine is a form of confinement. Sure, we’ve all been thrust into it in the past couple of months against our will and without preparation.  It’s awful.  Why would we do it unless it was to protect our health and lives?  Home confinement in a time where there is no public health reason to do so is cruel.  It’s unnecessary.  It’s bad for mental health.

The federal government and most states give prisoners 10 percent of their sentences, up to six months, in home confinement, like it’s a favor of some sort.  It’s not a favor.  It’s an attack on one’s mental health.  Now that we all know what it’s like, let’s do away with it.  If your sentence is so short that you can be sent home, just leave it at that.  It’s the humanitarian thing to do.  Doing away with home confinement is not going to raise the crime rate.  It’s not going to “release dangerous criminals into the streets.”  It’s showing concern for the mental health of those Americans among the most vulnerable.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act — a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

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Can This Pandemic Usher in a New Era? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2020

A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.

$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.

When, if ever, will there be a better time to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to extricate America from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/patrick-j-buchanan/can-this-pandemic-usher-in-a-new-era/

By

To fight the coronavirus at home, France is removing all military forces from Iraq.

When NATO scaled back its war games in Europe because of the pandemic, Russia reciprocated. Moscow announced it would cancel its war games along NATO’s border.

Nations seem to be recognizing and responding to the grim new geostrategic reality of March 2020: The pandemic is the real enemy of us all, and while we fight it, each in his own national corner, we are in this together.

Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste, said Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis.

Emanuel was echoed this month by House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, who called the coronavirus crisis “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

What Clyburn had in mind is what Democrats advanced as their alternative to the $2.2 trillion emergency bill. It was designed to force President Trump either to swallow it whole or to take responsibility for vetoing a critical transfusion of federal funds to keep the economy alive.

Among the items stuffed in the Democrats’ proposal:

A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.

$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans ash-canned almost the leftist wish list.

But Trump should go further, turn the tables, and seize this crisis to do what he was elected to do — impose a new foreign policy.

Isolate America, not from the world, but from the world’s wars.

The New York Times and Washington Post editorialized Thursday for an easing of the economic sanctions we have imposed on Iran.

This would be a humanitarian gesture when Iran is suffering more than any country in the Middle East from the virus. More than that, it would be a statement that America is not at war with the Iranian people.

This unilateral gesture by Trump, asking nothing in return except negotiations, would put the onus for Iran’s isolation squarely with the ayatollah and his regime.

As for Vladimir Putin’s cancellation of war games in response to NATO’s cancellation, Trump could seize upon this as an opening to engage Russia as candidate Trump promised to do.

Does anyone believe Putin wants a war with NATO?

Should he do so, does anyone think Italy and Spain, two of the largest NATO allies, but both suffering greatly in the coronavirus crisis, would invoke Article V and declare war on Russia?

When Hitler was our foe, America created a wartime alliance with Stalin in the common cause of crushing the Axis powers. Liberals and leftists yet defend the Popular Front between the democracies and Stalin. If we could unite with Bolsheviks to defeat Nazis, surely we can join with Iran’s rulers to cope with and crush the coronavirus.

When, if ever, will there be a better time to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to extricate America from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?

Consider also the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong Un has been testing rockets again over the Sea of Japan.

Transfixed by the coronavirus crisis, however, the world is paying him no attention. We should make a final offer to Kim Jong Un to pull our U.S. forces from South Korea and lift sanctions for verifiable reductions and restraints on his nuclear arsenal.

We are ready for a deal. But If Pyongyang refuses to talk, we should tell him we are going home and are allowing South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons. And let Kim deal with them.

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest crisis since the Cuban missile confrontation of 1962. After that crisis, John F. Kennedy sought to use the world’s brush with Armageddon to establish a detente with the Soviet Union of the Communist dictator who had put the missiles in Cuba.

Following our Cold War victory, we have not done that. Instead, we plunged into wars that were none of our business to deal with imagined threats and advance utopian causes like establishing Jeffersonian democracy in lands where tribalism and dogmatism are rooted in the very soil.

The coronavirus is the enemy Saddam Hussein never was. And the ayatollahs never had tens of millions of Americans “sheltering in place.”

What the coronavirus crisis tells us is not that we should turn our backs on the world but that, in engaging with the world, we should put our own interests first, as every nation in the world is doing now.

Be seeing you

 

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Can This Pandemic Usher in a New Era? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2020

But Trump should go further, turn the tables, and seize this crisis to do what he was elected to do — impose a new foreign policy.

Isolate America, not from the world, but from the world’s wars.

The coronavirus is the enemy Saddam Hussein never was. And the ayatollahs never had tens of millions of Americans “sheltering in place.”

What the coronavirus crisis tells us is not that we should turn our backs on the world but that, in engaging with the world, we should put our own interests first, as every nation in the world is doing now.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/patrick-j-buchanan/can-this-pandemic-usher-in-a-new-era/

By

To fight the coronavirus at home, France is removing all military forces from Iraq.

When NATO scaled back its war games in Europe because of the pandemic, Russia reciprocated. Moscow announced it would cancel its war games along NATO’s border.

Nations seem to be recognizing and responding to the grim new geostrategic reality of March 2020: The pandemic is the real enemy of us all, and while we fight it, each in his own national corner, we are in this together.

Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste, said Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis.

Emanuel was echoed this month by House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, who called the coronavirus crisis “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

What Clyburn had in mind is what Democrats advanced as their alternative to the $2.2 trillion emergency bill. It was designed to force President Trump either to swallow it whole or to take responsibility for vetoing a critical transfusion of federal funds to keep the economy alive.

Among the items stuffed in the Democrats’ proposal:

A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.

$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans ash-canned almost the leftist wish list.

But Trump should go further, turn the tables, and seize this crisis to do what he was elected to do — impose a new foreign policy.

Isolate America, not from the world, but from the world’s wars.

The New York Times and Washington Post editorialized Thursday for an easing of the economic sanctions we have imposed on Iran.

This would be a humanitarian gesture when Iran is suffering more than any country in the Middle East from the virus. More than that, it would be a statement that America is not at war with the Iranian people.

This unilateral gesture by Trump, asking nothing in return except negotiations, would put the onus for Iran’s isolation squarely with the ayatollah and his regime.

As for Vladimir Putin’s cancellation of war games in response to NATO’s cancellation, Trump could seize upon this as an opening to engage Russia as candidate Trump promised to do.

Does anyone believe Putin wants a war with NATO?

Should he do so, does anyone think Italy and Spain, two of the largest NATO allies, but both suffering greatly in the coronavirus crisis, would invoke Article V and declare war on Russia?

When Hitler was our foe, America created a wartime alliance with Stalin in the common cause of crushing the Axis powers. Liberals and leftists yet defend the Popular Front between the democracies and Stalin. If we could unite with Bolsheviks to defeat Nazis, surely we can join with Iran’s rulers to cope with and crush the coronavirus.

When, if ever, will there be a better time to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to extricate America from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?

Consider also the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong Un has been testing rockets again over the Sea of Japan.

Transfixed by the coronavirus crisis, however, the world is paying him no attention. We should make a final offer to Kim Jong Un to pull our U.S. forces from South Korea and lift sanctions for verifiable reductions and restraints on his nuclear arsenal.

We are ready for a deal. But If Pyongyang refuses to talk, we should tell him we are going home and are allowing South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons. And let Kim deal with them.

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest crisis since the Cuban missile confrontation of 1962. After that crisis, John F. Kennedy sought to use the world’s brush with Armageddon to establish a detente with the Soviet Union of the Communist dictator who had put the missiles in Cuba.

Following our Cold War victory, we have not done that. Instead, we plunged into wars that were none of our business to deal with imagined threats and advance utopian causes like establishing Jeffersonian democracy in lands where tribalism and dogmatism are rooted in the very soil.

The coronavirus is the enemy Saddam Hussein never was. And the ayatollahs never had tens of millions of Americans “sheltering in place.”

What the coronavirus crisis tells us is not that we should turn our backs on the world but that, in engaging with the world, we should put our own interests first, as every nation in the world is doing now.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »