DOOM AND GLOOM: Debt, Drugs, and Suicide Threaten America
Hello hello hello out there to one and all and welcome to today’s edition of our USA Really daily podcast for November 29. Today is the feast of St. Matthew the Evangelist, the author of the Gospel, for those of you keeping up with Church stuff. Of course, for Christians, the Gospels are THE greatest books ever, thus the feast of St. Matthew is certainly an important one. But of course, the world doesn’t stop for the feasts, and the news keeps a-coming. We’ve got some doom and gloom for you today, and we’ve got some heart-warming kindness, so get ready for a wild ride!
But as always, I want to kick things off by telling you about our big hot fat chances for you to win big fat hot stacks of cash! First is our Global Democracy Award, and pay attention, cause the contest is just about over! We’re looking for original works on the US government’s interference in other states—whether it be essays or videos or poems or memes, and it ends DECEMBER 1! So get your creative juices flowing and get us your original works by DECEMBER 1. YOU’VE GOT TWO DAYS! Then there’s our Zuckerberg Wanted action where we’re looking for solid evidence of the government enforcing illegal censorship online, and especially on social networks. In both cases, you could find yourself the happy owner of several thousands of dollars, so check both of these items out!
And actually, let’s kick things off with a look at a poem that was submitted for the Global Democracy competition. It’s called “PROPHETIC-POEM and Homage to Nostradamus” by Charles Lee Gillenwater. This one’s not real long, so I’ll read the whole thing for you here: Descending from observation deck, does elevator fall; Executives smile as they walk down the hall. Exploding of old Post Office; Peeping Rahm from 360-Degree, does not see./ Seeming to stall, plane hangs in the air; Trump Tower in foreground, does Willis it hunt. After, mushroom shall fill the sky, Treasure from Ecurrancy, no longer to shine; Effect of Patriot Act II, shall take./Anticipated countermeasure, preemptively ordered; The lights go out in Ivans Land. The Urbain Senator speaks not, Attendent was he, as-well-as Oudi. Chicago, city of malfunctioning lights; Keeping order Militia must; Sent to trump those, who fuss… So, that’s a taste of the kind of stuff people are submitting for the contest, now go write something yourself!
And from poetry to history. Let’s do that “This Day in History” thing. This day in 1776 saw the end of the Battle of Fort Cumberland in the Northern Coastal Theater of the American Revolutionary War, when we whipped them Brits back to merry ol’ England! Well, actually, in this battle, actually in Canada, it didn’t turn out so well for the Americans who were trying to spread the revolution. The British forces in Nova Scotia province were well-trained, well-equipped and experienced and successfully repelled several attempts the American militia to storm the fort, and that was that. This day in 1847 saw the Whitman Massacre in Oregon, as Indians attacked local missionaries Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa, along with eleven others. They were killed by a party of Cayuse Native Americans who accused Whitman of having poisoned 200 Cayuse in his medical care. The murder of Whitman and his wife caused the Cayuse War (that lasted for eight years and ended with a decisive U.S. victory), that took place in present-day southeastern Washington state, near the town of Walla Walla, and was pretty much one of the most notorious episodes in the U.S. settlement of the Pacific Northwest. I was not aware of this event … Sounds pretty awful … And for another massacred, one went down this day in 1864, the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado. Here the US Army just brutally slaughtered 500 Indians. Check out this piece for all the details on all these events.
And how about that apocalypticism, that doom and gloom I mentioned at the beginning?: “US Will Collapse From Debt and Internal Losses.” The US' national debt is approaching $22 trillion with a current federal budget deficit of over $800 billion. As Senator Rand Paul often points out, bankruptcy is the Sword of Damocles hanging perilously close to Uncle Sam's neck. Outside of a handful of libertarian gadflies in Congress such as Paul, there is no serious political movement to curb the country's wayward spending. It would take some upset of multiple times greater magnitude than Donald Trump's 2016 victory to alter this course. The crisis in America will "certainly" come, despite the fact that there are a lot of poorer countries based on an assessment of the ratio of debt to GDP. The United States has the greatest debt, and the tipping point will come. I mean, of course not all economists hold such a stark view. So what are the others saying? Is it sunshine and rainbows? Well, head on over to this piece for some more details.
And from doom and gloom to that heart-warming stuff we spoke about. One patriotic young man was caught on camera doing a good, patriotic deed for a complete stranger. So the wind knocked an American flag off its pole at one home in Gallatin, Tennessee, and one kind young man happened to walk by and notice it, so he picked up the flag, folded it perfectly, and placed it on a chair on the porch so the flag wouldn’t remain on the ground. Amidst all the negative news, it is refreshing to see an act of kindness, isn’t it? The man was recorded on the house’s surveillance camera, though the owner did not recognize him. However, the woman has taken to social media to praise the man to the high Heavens and to try to track him down. My guess is, with someone who does something like that—he doesn’t want praise. He’d rather remain unknown.
But then we’re heading back to politics with President Trump and his delight for games and outmaneuvering his opponents: “Trump Threatens to Declassify “Devastating” Docs if Democrats Investigate Him.” The President has threatened once again to retaliate against Democrats if they try to “play tough” by investigating him—this time by declassifying a wide swath of “devastating” documents related to the Mueller probe, which he had initially planned to do in September before changing his mind. “If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me. I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that,” he said during a 36-minute Oval Office sit-down. He threatened to declassify FISA warrant applications and other documents from Robert Mueller’s probe — and predicted the disclosure would expose the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Clinton campaign as being in cahoots to set him up. He was all set to release this stuff earlier, but his lawyer advised him to wait for a juicier time. Is that time now? Well, we’ll see. What will we find out? Well, we’ll see.
And not only is debt destroying America, apparently so are overdoses and suicide. “U.S. Life Expectancy Falls as Drug Overdoses, Suicides Rise.” Three CDC reports paint an increasingly grim picture of mortality in the US, with life expectancy dropping, overall death rates increasing, and mortality from drug addiction and suicide rising fast among young adults. It was the third year in a row that life expectancy had either fallen or stayed flat — the first three-year stretch since the flu pandemic a century ago. "Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable," CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement. More than 70,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2017, the highest number on record and 9.6% more than the previous year, according to the final mortality data. The highest death rates were among ages 35 and 44, followed closely by ages 25 to 34. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin stayed the same as 2016, while fatalities involving fentanyl and certain other synthetic opioids increased 45%. That’s all pretty depressing. Let’s hope we can get our sanity back and not need drugs and suicide as a release!
Next up: “Deadly House Fire Leaves at Least 6 Dead in Indiana.” According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum, the victims of the fire outside Logansport included a 25-year-old woman and her three children, two daughters aged 3 and 1, and a 3-month-old son. The other victims were a 42-year-old man and his 10-year-old daughter. Neighbors reported the fire at the rural home about 70 miles north of Indianapolis at about 2:00 a.m. Wednesday. Two Cass County sheriff's deputies arrived there minutes later and attempted to enter the home but were turned away by flames and heat, Sheriff Randy Pryor said. Moreover, firefighting efforts were hindered by a lack of fire hydrants near the house. Fire crews ran out of water and had to wait for about five minutes for more tankers to arrive. Lord have mercy on those who died and on those who are still in the hospital!
Alrighty lads and lasses, that’ll do it for the news for the night. So let’s jump into a preview of tomorrow’s opinion piece before wrapping up today’s podcast: “POMEPEO’S OWN CATERWAULING AND MEDIA- PILE-ON” by Luis Lázaro Tijerina. It looks like he’s not much of a Pompeo fan. He writes: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not known as a very subtle would-be statesman when it comes to creating the noose to politically hang himself and his allies in their support for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Shall we say he has his own brand of “caterwauling”, except his howls and political screaking are made ironically with Washingtonian language that sounds pragmatic and tough to his political adversaries, but in the end is void of clarity and cool assessments, when it comes to implanting a foreign policy in general. One could almost say that Pompeo likes to pose as a benign mafia boss from a Hollywood movie. But when Pompeo talks about how Saudi Arabia “contributed millions of dollars to the U.S.-led effort to fight Islamic State”, he fails to mention that it is also about the ‘Kingdom’ purchasing millions of dollars of United States’ military hardware which maintains the well-being of the United States military complex, which could care less for instance that “56,000 people have been killed in Yemen since early 2016.” You know what they say—the love of money is the root of all evil. Anyways, check out this analysis tomorrow for more insightful thoughts on Pompeo.
And with that, we close up shop for the night. Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep it right here for all the news you need to know.