The End of 2021

This hasn’t been a good year for me or for anybody else. Two factors cursed us: the continuing damage of covid-19 and the aftermath of the Trump administration.

I won’t try to sum up the year. Instead, I’ll offer some quotes meaningful to me as a veteran, an ex-spy, and a writer. I welcome your comments.

“A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America,’ for an amount up to and including their life.”

“According to the Gun Violence Archive, from January 1 to September 15, a total of 14,516 people died from gun violence in the US. That’s 1,300 more than during the same period in 2020, a 9% increase.”

“Countries with the Highest Total Gun Deaths (all causes) in 2019: 1. Brazil (49436) 2. United States (37038)”

“42,596. That’s the number of people killed by guns so far this year—more than 122 people every day. At least another 38,618 people have been wounded. In total, more than 5,000 children and teens have been shot.”

“2019: 991 deaths involving gun violence among people 17 and younger — a number that climbed to 1,375 in 2020 and already stands at 1,405 for 2021.”

“I want to live in a country that loves its children more than it loves guns.”

“Amid lockdowns, distancing and job loss, there was another epidemic ripping through America: Drug overdoses claimed over 100,000 lives from April 2020 to April 2021, a record figure.”

“Since May 2021, people living in counties that voted heavily for Donald Trump during the last presidential election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those who live in areas that went for now-President Biden.”

“In 2020, Trump presided over a worst-in-the-world pandemic response that caused hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths; held a super-spreader event at the White House and got covid-19 himself; praised QAnon adherents; embraced violent white supremacists; waged a racist campaign against Black Lives Matter demonstrators; attempted to discredit mail-in voting; and refused to accept his defeat in a free and fair election, leading eventually to the violence of Jan. 6 and causing tens of millions to accept the ‘big lie,’ the worst of more than 30,000 he told in office.”

“Most Republicans and supporters of Donald Trump don’t believe the 2020 election results were counted legitimately.”

“Former President Donald Trump’s company is poised to sell its lease on Washington, DC’s Old Post Office, which houses the Trump International Hotel, for a record-breaking $375 million, which would send Trump more than $100 million in profit.”

More next time.

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