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U.S. residents better duck

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. That, dear reader, is an example of “ab-DUCK-tive” reasoning.

Then there’s Occam’s razor: “The simplest explanation is most often correct.”

One should “shave off” unnecessary complexities and go with the duck principal.

Establishing the above as straight-thinking standards, I am amazed by our federal government’s recent song and dance routines to get us to ignore less than subtle examples our nation is on the precipice of what could rapidly lead to World War III. Loose talk about nuclear weapons and red lines drawn while massive armed forces are on a war footing, prepared for battle. When national leaders discuss World War III, believe them.

One of my pet peeves is the tired, thoroughly worn-out and grotesquely overused term “existential threat.” People have heard ad nauseum about supposed existential threats like “racism, white supremacy and toxic masculinity.”

Regardless of your feelings about the veracity of examples cited, we, as a people, need to understand words have meaning. The “existential threat” phrase literally means a hazard to our very existence. A pending matter so grave that if realized, our lives — our existence — may come to an end.

Baby boomers and older remember living through the Cold War. Both the USSR (Soviet Union) and the U.S. maintained enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons capable of killing all life on Earth many times over. If you were of school age during the early ’60s, you’ll remember the war drills where we dove under our desks for “protection” if incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles were detected and believed on their way.

Those drills were yet another example of our government lying to us. The idea a school desk could protect you from a nuclear blast is, well, obscene. Perhaps at the time our leaders felt they needed to do something to allay people’s real fears of becoming extinct.

If you’ve ever seen the sickening photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where a tiny atom bomb — tiny by today’s weaponry sizes — was used to instantly vaporize more than 100,000 souls with many more dying within days. Today’s hydrogen warheads are exponentially more destructive, a true and actual existential threat. Yet we hear our leaders throw the word “nuclear” around like a cocktail party punchline.

We hear seemingly colloquial phrases like “low yield” or “theater” nukes casually spoken of as if opening Pandora’s atomic box is just another arrow in our quiver. A U.S. senator recently suggested America consider “first strike” nukes as a real possibility and worthy of pursuit.

Regardless of what you think of the war in Ukraine and who is right versus wrong, you have to agree Vladimir Putin is not being unreasonable to feel threatened by talks of possible NATO involvement in the conflict. He would have every reason to relate to how Jack Kennedy felt during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Add to Putin’s fears the fact Joe Biden — totally ignoring the War Powers Act — has sent upward of $200 billion to the Ukrainians and has pledged to keep up the American support, “as long as it takes.”

The figurative mountains of cash sent by the U.S. notwithstanding, Biden has spoken of the need for “regime change” in Russia. That friends, is Putin’s “existential threat” coming from America in an undeclared war between Russia and the West. In response, Putin has warned he will use nuclear weapons rather than see his own government toppled, the apparent (and stated) goal of Joe Biden. And for what?

Biden and his administration would have you believe it’s in the pursuit of democracy, yet Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a Madisonian democratic leader. He has banned all political opposition, arrested and jailed any political figure who dares defy him, while seizing their properties. Adding insult to injury, he has nationalized all media to prevent any dissent from reaching the airwaves while also outlawing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The Ukraine remains in the top three most corrupt nations on Earth yet our own government has thwarted efforts to audit taxpayer monies which make up the vast majority of monetary support from the so-called “free world.” Where has the $200 billion gone? Don’t ask!

Perhaps the most troubling of recent events is the joining of forces of Russia and Communist China. Their combined nuclear arsenals, coupled with staggering numbers of ready and available troops, begs the question: What are our goals in the Ukraine? If it’s “victory,” what does that look like and what is our strategy for getting out?

American involvement in another likely endless conflict has virtually no popular support among our citizens. With so much at stake, our own leaders owe us an explanation of why they’ve taken us so close to the brink. At the very least, our voices must be heard on just how close America should get to realizing an actual existential threat.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Ron Russ is a Los Angeles transplant, living in and loving Boulder City since 2020. His career in commercial broadcasting spanned more than four decades including a brief stint as the announcer for Fox’s short-lived “The Chevy Chase Show.” In another lifetime Ron performed stand-up comedy in Los Angeles. He can be reached at russbcr@outlook.com.

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