It is said that: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. But I think this pearl of wisdom should be amended to: Life is what happens when OTHERS are busy making THEIR plans.
Back in 2000, the new-agers predicted a future of peace and prosperity, but for the most part, the third millennium AD has been a time of ever-escalating conflict and strife. During the last two decades, literal and metaphorical hurricane-strength winds have blown through our world. Life has not exactly gone according to plan. Not for us. Not for most people we know. And certainly not for our poor planet.
We live in a time of constant anxiety. Over the past while, in a vain attempt to keep my thoughts and words from joining the collective cry of pain, I have not written much or even blogged regularly, . But lately I’ve been thinking that taking the path of least resistance has morphed into cowardly inaction.
I am NOT confrontational. I want everyone to get along. But with a bully on the playground, there comes a point when individuals must jump into the fray.
The bully has declared June 10th, as the day a 5% tariff will be levied on all goods imported into the USA from Mexico; the tax will “gradually increase” until the flow of undocumented immigrants across the border ceases. The economic blackmail is scheduled to be in place “until such time as illegal migration coming through Mexico stops.” Good luck with that – as long as there is need – desperate people will do whatever it takes. The only way to halt illegal migration is to help the countries where the migrants live, and ensure that the resources reach them, not the bank accounts of their corrupt leadership.
And Mexico is not the only target the bully aims at when he doesn’t get his way. 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum were imposed against Canada, but then removed when the Canadians retaliated with their own measures. Now, the Chinese power brokers have been warned that 25% is what they’ll be charged on their incoming goods. They have sent a diplomatically-worded message that implies: “If this happens don’t say we didn’t warn you…” No doubt other countries are preparing communiqués for the day when it is decided that they too are behaving counterproductively to the uber-plan.
Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents the nation’s largest exporters, called the move “a colossal blunder.” But while the bully has made cracking down on illegal immigration a priority, his announcement on Thursday could derail another of his chief goals: Revising the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
The blunt-force threat that the bully is wielding against a neighbour and an ally as critical to the American economy as Mexico, will backfire when businesses and consumers start to feel the costs of the bully’s latest move.
The NY Times says about the bully: “the frustration over the rising number of illegal border crossings has steadily risen since January, when Democrats refused to grant him billions of dollars to build his long-promised wall along the southwestern border. Since then, he has consistently framed immigration as a national security crisis and tried different tactics to punish the countries he blames for the flow of migrants… He has moved to cut off all foreign aid to countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and threatened to completely seal off the border with Mexico, a move that numerous officials told him would violate American law and international treaties…”
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico does not want a fight. There is no justification for doing this, he added, and reiterated the need for dialogue. But our Mexican president warned that the bully should not mistake the paused and prudent response as fearful.
I publically support Mexico, the Mexican president and those who endeavour to stop the bully through policy-making and politics.
And I am saddened when I hear and read the opinions of people who agree with the bully’s mad methods. They claim that their “blood, sweat and tears” made the USA a great country. But really it was past generations who forged the American dream, and most of those forefathers were immigrants back in the day when no passport or visa was needed to move to “the land of the free”. Some people in the USA think they have the right to scream, “America First!” But definitely it is time to wake up from “the dream”. Have they forgotten the four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear? Or do they feel these are meant only for citizens of the USA? Sorry, but I do not believe freedom can be exclusive, and still be called by the same name.
The last freedom is the kicker. FEAR is what we all suffer from. Stating my beliefs will not change anyone’s deluded mindset even one iota. I doubt the hard-liners will reflect for even a second on what I have written because I do not support the agenda of the bully. My words are “fake news”, and I am a “flaming liberal”. Mea culpa.
“God help us, ma’am! Do you see what we saw? We saw that we’d been given a law to live by, a moral law, they called it, which punished those who observed it – for observing it. The more you tried to live up to it, the more you suffered; the more you cheated it, the bigger reward you got. Your honesty was like a tool left at the mercy of the next man’s dishonesty. The honest ones paid, the dishonest collected. The honest lost, the dishonest won. How long could men stay good under this sort of a law of goodness?
This quote is from the writings of Ayn Rand – novelist and philosopher (1905 – 1982)
Yes indeed Ayn, God help us all, Ma’am!