America the Unbeautiful
Bank failures are never encouraging, and the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank points to the instability of our American moment. President Biden made a short speech to affirm depositors would get their money back, only to exit the stage without taking any questions from reporters. As Biden slowly walked away from the podium, closing carefully the door behind him, I couldn’t help but see the whole act as symbolic of a tired America that has lost its way.
Yes, Biden acted to reassure markets and to rescue affluent depositors, yet he hardly reacted at all to the recent train wreck that poisoned East Palestine, Ohio. If only the train wreck had struck a major bank …
Tallying up Biden’s broken campaign promises, another one, an especially egregious one, was announced with the plan to allow oil drilling in pristine wilderness in northern Alaska. Biden had promised no more drilling on federal lands. Period. And then he approved the massive Willow drilling project on federal land in Alaska, an act of climate terrorism, notes Rebecca Solnit.
Meanwhile, Biden released his proposed Pentagon budget for 2024. You won’t be surprised to learn it’s soared to $886 billion, an almost inconceivable sum, or that the Biden budget focuses most of its discretionary spending on weaponry, wars, security, police, and prisons. Here’s a handy diagram:
I suppose the government will need all those warriors and guards with guns to maintain order while banks fail and the environment is poisoned, whether from oil drilling or train wrecks.
Perhaps you’ve seen the Daniel Day-Lewis movie about oil drilling’s early days. Its title is suggestive to what is to come: “There will be blood.”