Lefsetz: It’s the End of the World as We Know it

Am I the only one freaked out about this?

I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was only 9 years-old, but I was plenty scared. I remember visiting my grandparents in Peabody, Mass., lying on the sloping porch of their three story abode, asking my mother what was gonna happen.

She said if they dropped the bomb we’d all die, and not to worry about it.

Is that the genesis of all my problems right there? Because this only made me more afraid.

And I haven’t been that afraid this century.

Haven’t been afraid for decades. Yes, 9/11 happened, but that was in New York, the first stop for Europeans, a bit more of a hop, skip and a jump from the Middle East, but the centralized city, Manhattan, makes a perfect target.

However if they’re lobbing bombs from North Korea, L.A.’s the place.

Don’t tell me to be unafraid. It doesn’t work.

Just like in the instance of my mom above.

I laugh when I hear people in the heartland give up their rights in the name of protection from terrorism. The assailants are gonna go there last. They’re gonna start in the big cities, where they can have the most impact.

So I’m driving on the freeway and they’re going on about the Mother Of All Bombs. ISIS is comprised of bad guys, I get it. But aren’t we pissing them off by doing this, the ones who survive? Aren’t we imploring them to commit acts of terrorism, poison our water, kill our children? That’s the first thing that went through my mind, revenge. Some of these people have been pissed for centuries, they can hold a grudge. And the truth is no one can keep America safe, it just can’t be done.

So now comes this brinksmanship with North Korea.

Just six months ago they were debating whether Trump should be trusted with the button, and it seemed a distant question.

We’ve had Glasnost, ABM treaties, no one’s gonna drop a bomb. But then Putin acted with impunity, annexing Crimea after an Olympics only one step away from Hitler’s 1936 edition.

Then Trump fires Tomahawk missiles into Syria and all I can think of is Naomi Klein and “The Shock Doctrine.”

When there’s war, the character of the country changes, the administration enacts restrictions, rams through an agenda they would not be able to do in peacetime.

This is what the U.S. does around the world, Democrats and Republicans. It’s just that most Americans are so busy celebrating their belief they live in the greatest country in the world that they’ve got no idea what is happening outside our borders, what heinous acts are being committed.

Then there’s the involvement of Russia in our elections, and irrelevant of whether Trump’s election is valid or not, it makes you wonder who’s in control.

As for Trump’s supporters, the Republican voters, I’m coming to believe the rank and file’s defense of him has little to do with policy and everything to do with hatred of Hillary.

Give the right wing credit, they’ve spent decades denigrating Clinton and the New York Times and the end result is both have been neutralized. They’re holding the losing end of the stick.

And I don’t care whether you’re a lefty or a righty, the issue isn’t fake news, but the fact that we can’t agree on the facts, whatever they might be. We’ve all got different news sources, that’s the story of the election. Which also taught us not to trust the techies, who got it all wrong, their statistical modeling told us Hillary would win and she didn’t.

So it’s every man for himself in America these days, and that’s positively scary.

For years I avoided television news. For years I skimmed through the international section of the newspaper. Now it’s like a wreck on the highway, I can’t peel my eyes away.

And I wonder if the attention is warranted. I wonder what impact I can have. Are we in a national crisis and it’s all hands on deck, fighting the administration’s takeover? Or is it worse than that, and we’re skewing towards military rule? After all, Trump defers to his generals.

And don’t get your knickers in a twist – don’t make this us versus them  – right versus left. We’re all people and we’ve got more in common than that which separates us. We all want opportunity and community. We all want the pursuit of happiness.

However we’ve been so busy looking for points of difference that we are divided and no longer communicating, while a Washington, D.C. that was out of touch to begin with is now circling the wagons and taking over.

Or is it?

My grandfather came from Russia. He escaped the czar. Some of his brothers and sisters went to Palestine. One was left behind and ended up in the Russian army.

He got a job in a tannery. He joined the Workmen’s Circle, because he believed in the power of the laborer, the power of the people, he believed the average working Joe should be heard and understood.

And with the money he saved he purchased two three story apartment buildings that his son ultimately labeled slums. He and his wife continued to live there. They put a son and a daughter through college. Another son O.D.’ed after getting hurt in the factory and never recovering from back pain – he overmedicated himself.

My father’s father lost a hand in a railroad accident, and one of my dad’s brothers got run over in the driveway and a sister committed suicide. The truth is we’ve all got potholes in our stories, twists and turns that we’d rather forget but bond us. We’re imperfect people with checkered histories. All we want is to be able to survive and live in peace.

But suddenly that’s challenged.

Suddenly the Chinese say they find Kim Jong-un uncontrollable.

We pushed Saddam Hussein, who refused to back down even though he had no nukes. These are not rational people, they’re power-hungry overlords, who are more worried about their image than safety. That’s what we’re up against.

We’re privileged, we’ve grown up in the relative safety of the United States.

But now opportunity has faded here too.

Desperation is rampant. You may not experience it, but if you open your eyes you can see it. We thought we were above the fray, that we were a better people with answers, living behind an invisible curtain of impenetrability. The last few months have shown we’re no better and no different from everybody else. The pedestal has been torn down. Our leader is just as unpredictable as theirs. We too are driven by religion.

But even more we’re driven by ignorance and power.

And that’s just positively scary.

I know, I know, I should relax – just dial up Netflix – zone out.

But I can’t.

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11 Responses to Lefsetz: It’s the End of the World as We Know it

  1. E.H. says:

    I lived in S. Korea for 8 years, the Koreans don’t freak out about N. Korea at all because the media just broadcasts these fear mongering stories every 6 months or so..or when it’s a slow news day/week.

    In other words, NOTHING is happening. The U.S. certainly isn’t going to send in an elite Seal team. The North Koreans are not going to lob a few nukes. And China isn’t going to do anything at all except kinda play both sides like a fiddle.

    Also, I don’t know if you know this but the S. Koreans DO NOT want to reunite with N. Korea because they saw what happened to the German economy/jobs after they reunited. Yes, the S. Koreans do like money A LOT.

  2. chuck says:

    The usual rhetorical, paripatetic, paltering, desiccated dreck from a guy on cruise control.

    That said, the “Gas Attack” looks more and more like a fake. I am no more qualified, out here in the hinterlands, than any of you, to pass judgement on whether or not the attack was phony, or real, but there is some serious evidence, as I read it, that those ‘bombs’ were not the result of an air attack.

    The missile attack was, to me, unsettling and maybe unnecessary. In the last 17 years, we have expended blood and treasure at breakneck speed in the hopes of changing, or, at least affecting the Mid East. We have, in my opinion, zefukinro to show for it. Well, that’s not true, they are hiring at Walter Reed and if you like music, as much as Bob Lefsetz does, War Drums are on sale in Washington DC.

    Trump seems to be suffering from the rude buffering of circumstance, his circumstance, now, leader of the Free World. He is 180 out on his pre-election promises to stay out of the Mid East. We NEED, LOVE impeccably despotic dictators like Hussein, Gaddafi and Assad.

    Trump is laboring under difficult circumstances nationally and doing yeoman’s work. On the international stage, he had capitulated to the War Party.

    Let’s hope we don’t end up, the Mother Of All Bad jokes.

  3. you better buddy.
    its going to be a long six months til they take down trump.
    Read the news today? The armada headed to north korea got lost and ended up
    thousands of miles away from the north korean coast.
    There will be no obamacare repeal/no tax reform/no wall/no help for the middle
    class that trump talked about/but we sure will get rid of some mexicans!
    Which won’t make any difference overall.
    Still wars in mideast and we definitiely won’t get much done while trump is in
    poweer except him and his family will make a shit ton of money.
    Look at his golf game…its improved since he’s spent more time with his golf
    game than at the white house.
    Trump is like that guy driving that aircraft carrier to korea…fu88ing lost!

    • Frank says:

      I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the “the ship got lost going the wrong direction” is not true and that Trump was just bluffing that a ship was headed that way. It’s 2017, and I’m thinking that long before that, the military had technology that was sophisticated enough to send a ship in the right direction by putting in the right coordinates. I mean, sure, if I was out in the very middle of the ocean and all I saw to the north, south, east, and west was water, I would probably be baffled enough to not know which way to go. But, again, I don’t think I need worry about that. I’m sure somebody here has military experience and can tell me if my theory is wrong.

    • Shawnster says:

      Harley right there^^^

  4. Nick says:

    “And I don’t care whether you’re a lefty or a righty, the issue isn’t fake news, but the fact that we can’t agree on the facts, whatever they might be. We’ve all got different news sources, that’s the story of the election. ”

    Uh, wrong.

    The story of the election is the Democrats got lazy and assumed they had both enough popular and electoral votes.

    Here’s hoping the don’t remake that error in the future; by the looks and leavings of what’s currently occupying the White House, the country might not survive it.

  5. anyone seen an aircraft carrier around? if so call 1-800-aircraft!

  6. Porque says:

    You have to figure that anything that comes from the media in America, including much of the so called alternative media is 100% the opposite of reality. Because the US exists on lies. Everything about the US is a lie. The powers that be that own and control America needs this to be so, because in reality the US Government is more oppressive, impoverishing, and murdering than all governments, religious organizations, leaders, potentates, dictators, etc., combined, past and present, in the history of the planet. This government/country has killed twice as many people in a little over two hundred years than Hitler and Stalin killed, combined. That’s way over 100,000,000 million people, an still rapidly growing this very second. And, this government is a 100% corrupt, bureaucratic-inverted-totalitarian, authoritarian-police-state. It is controlled by a cabal that is global that’s been around before the crusades or at least since the crusades. This cabal is composed of a small handful of super rich multi-trillionaire families and a few individuals and potentates. The other contingency of a small handful of crooks that control the US Government is the Rothschild Banking Consortium and it’s various tentacles such as the Federal Reserve Bank and System, the World Bank, and the IMF, to name a few. The third contingent of control over the US Government is the State of Israel and it’s controllers. These three contingents control the US Government and use it as their primary enforcement arm. Under them you have the Corpocracy, the CIA, etc. They oppress, Impoverish, and murder humanity, both in the US and around the world, for their benefit alone. It is the most heinous-cancerous-blight on humanity in the history of the world! Guerilla warfare by the determined few of the people that have value, integrity, and a moral compass is the only answer to this disease.

    • miket. says:

      ooooh… love a good ‘shadow gov’t’ story, “a loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires…,” as paul simon once sang.

      no idea if you’re right, wrong, or delusional… but what i want to know is whether the revolution will be or will not be televised.

      i say it will be, and it’s on right now… do you receive that channel?

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