Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How many more, Mr. McBush?

Good Lord! The numbers are making me crazy!

A total of 4,496 military men have died in the Iraq War; 4,182 of them are from the US. Another 160 felt conditions were so bad that they took their own lives. Some 43,528 civilians in Iraq are now dead as a result of the war; 8,712 have died in the Iraq military.

As for the other war, in Afghanistan, 988 soldiers have died; 611 are members of our US military.

As of 11 am today, roughly $562,416,852,000 dollars have been spent on both wars and that number is growing by the second.

I thought of those 56,000 people this morning, all who have died in this five-and-a-half year invasion, all under the premise that we must be kept safe from the terrorists that attacked the US on 9/1/01 as well as those that were allegedly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. (In all, 19 hijackers + 2,974 people died in the 9/11/01 attacks bringing our number of dead up to nearly 60,000.)

The reason for reflecting on these lost lives is rooted in a news story I read on the growing number of suicides due to our now historic financial crisis.

I am angry. Why isn't everyone angry? We all should be more angry than we have ever been before. Of course, we simply can't agree on the culprit, which only makes me more angry.

Some people, loved ones even, say they think John McCain will do a better job at protecting the United States in these times of conflict. His military history, which dates back to his father and grandfather by the way, somehow makes folks feel more comfortable.

His history makes me less comfortable. This man has spent a lifetime in the military, using his military experience as a foundation to his role as a Senator. He is proud of his maverick maneuvering, his ability to bully his way past what his colleagues on both sides of the aisle have agreed to for the good of the people. When a decision will be required - and it will be required - in the wars that have already cost us as many people as the population of Greenville, South Carolina, John McCain will not back down. He'll proudly tell you that. He's ready to fight and continue fighting. When another "enemy" rears its ugly head - and they will - John McCain will go after them as well, despite our strained troops that are already tired and needing some relief. McCain will rattle his saber and call for more of our young to protect us from the axis of evil. If necessary, and what you and I consider necessary is undoubtedly not the same, John McCain will not just be bold enough to respond to the call at 3 am; he'll do it will glee, with a vengeance for which he has waited since his days in North Vietnam. I can see it in his eyes. I can hear it in the tone of his voice, in his gaffes where he calls his supporters fellow prisoners. He defends the Bush wars, the Bush Doctrine, the lack of presidential judgement in forever changing the reputation of our country.

John McCain has said too little of our financial crisis other than conveniently portraying himself as one who can fly to Washington and solve it.

And he didn't.

And neither did his mentor. Why can't Bush, in the last pitiful days of his presidency, just go away? Instead, he keeps pushing for a financial solution that should scare the be-Jesus out of all of us, let alone a Republican Party that until now has claimed big government is part of the evil axis, a form of socialism from which we all mus be protected.

McBush's solution? Print more money. New money is being printed at record rates, insuring that the bucks you currently have in your pocket will buy less and less everyday.

And what about the out-of-work money manager in California, who lost a fortune, and then wiped out his family in a murder-suicide? Or the 90-year-old Ohio widow who shot herself in the chest as authorities arrived to evict her from the modest house she called home for 38 years?

In Massachusetts, a housewife who had hidden her family's mounting financial crisis from her husband sent a note to the mortgage company warning: "By the time you foreclose on my house, I'll be dead."

Across the country, authorities are becoming concerned that the nation's financial woes could turn increasingly violent, and they are urging people to get help. In some places, mental-health hot lines are jammed, counseling services are in high demand and domestic-violence shelters are full.

"A lot of people are telling us they are losing everything. They're losing their homes, they're going into foreclosure, they've lost their jobs," said Virginia Cervasio, executive director of a suicide resource enter in southwest Florida's Lee County.

But tragedies keep mounting, according the report I read this morning.

Dr. Edward Charlesworth, a clinical psychologist in Houston, said the current crisis is breeding a sense of chronic anxiety among people who feel helpless and panic-stricken, as well as angry that their government has let them down.

More than 4 million Americans were at least one month behind on their mortgages at the end of June, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

A record 500,000 had entered the foreclosure process. And that trend is expected to continue through next year, despite the current programs from the government and the lending industry to refinance delinquent homeowners into more affordable loans.


This must end.

McBush is no McChange.

God help us all...