Debt? What debt”

It was your money. You earned it. See how they spent it.

I know. I know.

You’re probably concerned about things like the state of the economy.

Get your mind off those little issues and focus on the important stuff in our lives.

Oh, sure, our country is $34 trillion in debt, the largest national debt in human history. The Congressional Budget Office said that if things don’t change, the national debt will ballon to about $141 trillion in 30 years.

So what?

Sure, some might think this is a problem, but what do they know?

Politicians are in charge, and our politicians wouldn’t let anything bad happen to us.

That’s why we elect them — to take care of us.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy how your politicians have decided to spend the money they have taken from you.

I thought today we should look at just one, very, very tiny expenditure.

A VERY TINY EXPENDITURE

Last year the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, awarded a grant1 for an important research project.

Just about any research project the government pays for is considered important, even if it’s not obvious that it is really, truly, honestly, for real important.

But our politicians wouldn’t spend money — your money — on things that weren’t important.

So let’s take a closer look at this study.

The purpose of the study is to “understand why minority children [black, indigenous, and people of color] read manga.”

For those of you not up to date on manga, they are comics or graphic novels with lots of pictures and not so many words, that originated in Japan.

I told you it was important.

I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to know the answer to that question?

Image of child reading a manga comic book. The image was created by AI.

New York’s Queens College was given $313,318.00 to conduct a three-year study designed to help librarians who aren’t knowledgeable about manga2 “develop a diverse library and archival workforce” so libraries can be more DEI friendly.

Who doesn’t want to be their library to be more DEI friendly?

I told you it was important.

And it’s a great deal.

It’s not like $313,318.00 is a lot of money. It’s only a third of a million dollars. That wouldn’t even buy you a nice home in America today.

Three hundred million is just a pittance when you’re $34 trillion in debt.

No one will even notice the expense.

So, as our economy is on the verge of total collapse, you can reassure yourself that some librarians will learn the importance of including manga books for our children so they won’t have to learn to read books with lots of words in them.

See, I told you it was a great idea.

Have a fantastic day!

Before I go, I’d like to share a blessing with you from the Old Testament.

“May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26 (The Living Bible)

Until next time … be the reason someone smiles today

1

GRANT to RESEARCH FOUNDATION OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK | USAspending

2

Manga are comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. The term manga is used in Japan to refer to both comics and cartooning. Outside of Japan, the word typically denotes comics originally published in Japan and translated into other languages. (Definition by Copilot)

Doesn’t it count that we meant well?

It was your money. You earned it. See how they spent it.

Click the player above to listen to the podcast or read the transcript below.

Let’s admit it.

The American military has gotten a lot of bad press in recent years.

From fleeing Afghanistan and leaving behind billions of dollars in state-of-the-art military equipment, to abandoning a modern air base to the enemies of America, to failing to bring home American citizens from a war zone, to abandoning tens of thousands of our allies who we promised to take care of and leaving them behind to be tortured or killed … to hosting drag shows on military bases.

Most of those bad news items were the result of people making some very bad decisions.

Like I said, the American military has gotten a lot of bad press.

But don’t despair.

The American military has been given a chance for redemption.

And that means good news stories from the press will soon be coming their way again.

The change in fortune came back in October, when some very bad guys (Hamas) did some very bad things (murder, rape, cutting off heads, killing children, and stuff like that) to over a thousand people in Israel. Then Israel responded by attacking Hamas,

Because Hamas likes to hide among civilians, the Palestinian people in Gaza found themselves in a war zone and quickly ran into shortages of things like food, water, and medicine.

The international community tried to get those supplies to the Palestinian people by sending in truckloads of supplies. But there was a problem. Hamas stopped the trucks, sometimes killed the drivers, and stole the supplies.

That’s when the military decided to step in and help. It was a chance for redemption.

The military conducted airdrops of supplies to Palestinian civilians.

What a great idea! And if they managed to get some good press out of their efforts … well, that was just frosting on the cake.

But things didn’t work out as the military planned.

They did some airdrops but not enough. And then there was the problem with Hamas again. The Hamas guys took a bunch of the supplies. And on top of that, some of the airdrops killed people on the ground.

It was not the redemption the military needed.

More bad press.

Another Chance

But the military didn’t give up.

They decided to build the “Trident Pier”, a temporary floating pier off the coast of Gaza, that would allow large ships to offload food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters.

What a fantastic idea and what a great opportunity for some much-needed good press for the military.

The pier was officially opened on May 16, 2024, but there were just a few problems.

The truck shipments had to be shut down because crowds rushed the aid trucks. And then there were the strong winds and heavy seas that caused the pier to break apart after a little over a week.

What remained of the pier had to be towed to Israel so it could be repaired.

Okay, it wasn’t a great success.

But it’s not over. After the pier is repaired, the military plans to tow it back to Gaza where it can once again provide aid to the Palestinians.

So, there is the possibility this will be a story that finally brings some good press to the military, along with some supplies to the Palestinians.

What did it cost?

There’s no need to talk about all the bad news. Afghanistan, losing airbases, and paying for drag shows are all in the past.

Let’s focus on the aid to Palestinians.

The airdrops cost about $17 million.

The floating pier only cost the U.S. taxpayers about $320 million. Repairs and future operations might raise the price tag just a bit.

Now you can decide if was worth it.

Remember

It was your money. You earned it. See how they spent it.