To the Editor:
Based on the letters in the Ozaukee Press over the last couple of weeks around the Afghanistan withdrawal, it seems that a lot of people believe that the legacy of a predecessor president magically disappears, and the next person starts from zero.
So what Did Donald Trump leave Joe Biden?
- US troop strength down by 12,500 to around 2,500, just enough to get us out.
- The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, who no doubt participated in retaking of Afghanistan.
- Not telling the Afghan government what he was up to and not briefing the incoming administration, hampering their effective transition.
- Gutting the Special Immigrant Visa program, resulting in a good part of the evacuation chaos.
As for the charge about leaving behind weapons, most of them were in the hands of the Afghan army, and to destroy them at any time would lead to the immediate collapse of the Afghan government and even more evacuation chaos.
Yes, the buck stops with Biden, but his administration did accomplish the largest airlift in history out of the country and is currently working with the Taliban to extract more people despite the Trump sabotage.
So, if you want to wave the bloody shirt, when Trump on impulse decided to pull out of Syria and leave our Kurdish allies to the tender mercies of the Turks, how many did he evacuate? Try none.
Take issue for sure about how the Biden administration handled the withdrawal, but if you are a Trump supporter or Trump himself, your criticisms are intellectually dishonest.
GRASSROOTS NORTHSHORE MEMBERS – Got an issue on your mind? The Ozaukee Press is very open about printing letters from readers.
keith schmitz published Until We Have Impulse Control We Need Gun Control in Home 2021-09-15 08:56:24 -0500
In advance of the September 19th Zoom Townhall on Gun Violence, an article by David Kyle Johnson bats back the myths cherished by the pro-gun side. Johnson ran this around the time of the Parkland shootings, but because this issue hasn’t gone away, his points still have relevance.
As with so many issues in this country, what the majority wants doesn’t seem to count. The people for whom guns seem to validate their lives prevail too often with a whole bucket of misconceptions. These myths glue together their forces and usually have some appeal to those on the fence.
But essentially, all of the arguments for gun violence in America don’t hold up when you get out of America.
Atheism? The US has one of the most churched populations in the western world, yet the highest rate of gun violence.
Violent Video Games? Ever see what Japanese kids play on their screens? Yet, Japan had 17 deaths from gun violence in 2020.
Immorality? Try measuring what exactly that is.
There’s more in Johnson’s piece on pro-gun arguments that are like balloons – all shape but only air inside.
So, of course, for the gun fetish crowd, the causes of gun violence are everything except the always available gun in American society.
At the time Johnson wrote this article in 2018, violent gun deaths were going down, and as we all know, gun crimes (but not a lot of other crimes) have been rising in this country.
So what has led to the increase? Try the instability from the pandemic in 2020 and stress from a collapsing economy, for starters. And who was president in 2020? A man who is the very model of impulsive behavior.
The loosened gun laws passed over the last few years – including in Wisconsin – haven’t helped. It’s no accident that our freeways in Metro Milwaukee have been closed down because of road rage shoot-outs.
Thanks to our conceal and carry law, many people have their weapon right at hand in the glove compartment, available when the impulse strikes. Because the guns are now being carried around in cars, they are targets for break-ins, with the stolen guns going right out into criminal world.
But Johnson does not, as Wolf Blitzer would say, leave it there. Check out the list of common-sense gun measures that even members of the NRA can get behind.
The solution is to be as willing to push back as the weapon worships are to flood our neighborhoods with guns. The first step starts with attending our Zoom meeting on gun violence on September 19th.
In defense of the tube that would have pumped thick, low-grade petroleum, known as the Keystone Pipeline, through the center of this country, those defending this project have cooked up a barrel of nonsense. They claim that President Joe Biden’s executive order closing down work on the Keystone would put tens of thousands out of work.
Let us all be reminded that the people who work on this pipeline, like all construction projects, are on a temporary job. Once it is finished, or in this case terminated, they move onto the next construction project.
Did we all freak out for the workers who completed Miller Park? Not if we didn’t want to be laughed at, because we all knew they had other projects waiting for them.
So, no, there are not tens of thousands of jobs at risk here. If anything, the green economy, if done right, will employ many orders of magnitude of people.