From the publisher … 2022 heating up in many ways

by Joe Courter

First off, a big thank you to the Supreme Court leaker, regardless of their intent, who has certainly given a jolt to the slow whittling of abortion rights, which seemed to be slipping away without much fightback. 

A big alarm clock has just gone off. 

These so-called conservative justices were lying through their teeth while under oath with those words about “settled law” regarding Roe during the confirmation hearings. We can be heartened by the big turnout on short notice at our court house and around the country less than a day after the revelations were made. Now, can we build on and sustain the outrage to organize a massive voter turnout in November, and make it more than a moment, but a movement?

This country has turned reactionary in so many ways. Our heads are spinning as we choose between which fronts to focus on. 

Teachers are being trolled as “groomers” for some gay agenda. History is being dumbed down and steered toward patriotic propaganda. The mega rich are shooting themselves into space, blowing untold millions that could be doing so much good here on earth combating disease and poverty. Climate change is staring us in the face with undeniable trend lines, and yet science itself is undercut by crackpot theories promulgated by hucksters with big microphones. 

And voting, the foundation of our democratic system, is being attacked with gerrymandered districts, intentional long lines due to polling place closures, increasing hurdles to voting registration, and wealthy people and corporations dominating the electoral system with their unchallenged influence through the use of campaign donations, dark money expenditures, media buys, and message control. We came very close to a genuine coup on Jan. 6, and as was pointed out back then, an unpunished coup simply serves as a rehearsal. Lots going on.

In regards to Ukraine, I am at a loss thinking about what should be done, or what can be done, to get a resolution that stops the killing and destruction. There seems to be no end game in sight, no active diplomacy, and the West keeps pumping in more weapons with no hint of an offered exit strategy for Russia. Russia is backed into a corner, its authoritarian leader insulated as the Russian people are being fed lies. The threat of escalation remains high, and while people in Europe are demonstrating for an end to the conflict, here in the U.S. our media seems happy to accept the idea that war is the only solution, virtually cheerleading the efforts while bathing us in tragic stories, all the while excluding the other stories of death and destruction our money and weapons are creating in Yemen and elsewhere. 

What is left out of the conversation are the effects of this conflict all over the world economically. Food prices are up and there are dire predictions of food shortages. Petroleum prices are up with the poor worldwide feeling the pinch. Many countries in the developing (and exploited) regions of the world have experienced the impact of the U.S. interfering in their country’s affairs and are skeptical of this US-NATO operation, even while condemning Putin’s attack on Ukraine. And I am especially intrigued by the accusation of war crimes against Russia being leveled by US leaders, here in a nation with its own war crimes history and its strong opposition to the International Criminal Court when it might affect the U.S. See the article by Rep. Ilhan Omar on page 4.

While the U.S. has been supporting various proxy wars, Russia has actually been doing the real thing in its region. They are an authoritarian state willing to play hardball. I do not see a good ending here. It is a mess that did not need to happen except in the minds of risk-taking geopolitical strategists. Ukraine and its people are being sacrificed to intentionally weaken Putin and Russia, consequences be damned. 

Again, for the third time I say it is these makers of war that are the enemy. There is a lot of blame to be had, and blood is on the hands of many highly regarded professionals wearing suits.

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