With all due respect to those who have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic illness, I’d like readers to consider what a guaranteed lifetime (until mandatory (?) retirement at 70 years old, for example) employment might mean. Should we compel people, once they reach the age of majority (eighteen years old, for example), to decide whether to continue with formal schooling or to enter the job market with the intention of being fully employed in an eight hour work day (unpaid lunch break)? What will we do with the students who wish to pursue the arts and crafts or trade skills rather than academics and policy oriented studies? These students/individuals are needed in our technologically advancing societies as well as those that decide to continue with their formal studies full-time. Then too, a fully employed young adult may be readying herself/himself for a comfortable family life with a loved one and possibly bearing a child (or children) for which society must provide the means and resources to help bring about the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (as collateral for ensuring its commitment to bargaining in a social contract with its citizens). These mundane and quotidian pursuits are foreseeable, respectable, and common yet costly. In response, citizens in return must be willing to participate in the protection of their society from infringements to its cohesiveness and to the ability to provide those necessary resources that its citizens enjoy. Furthermore, there are exceptional individuals who amass wealth, are adroit in some skill or intellectual domain that informs society and advances it with innovation or perspectives that increase life’s pleasures. These people receive not only accolades but generally are highly compensated more so than society’s ability to remunerate the average nine-to-five worker, at least for her/his average lifetime employment tenure. Greed may not be a rewardable virtue in a “relatively” free society but motivation to do well financially cannot be deprived by society so that this factor is not removed from humanity’s evolutionary behavioral responses. Nevertheless, it appears that the average person is willing to live a life in which s/he is guaranteed one of dignity, respect, comfort, and the ability to enjoy the blessings of liberty to the extent affordable by a society of this kind. (Are we playing/living in a “zero sum game” of winners and losers, so-to-speak?)
Friends: It has been some time since my last post due to matters that have consumed my free time. We have now past the sixty plus days of our 45th President Donald Trump’s administration. He has many pressing issues before him along with promises he made during his campaign to his constituents not least of which is his interest in making (the United States of) America great again. I do not support a southern border wall separating The Nation from our neighbors to the south or north, for that matter. Yet, control of our political borders is a matter of national interest as illegal entry can lead to other more serious breaches of law too horrid and numerous to enumerate. Further, our domestic health care situation is again in need of review. This issue has been problematic for decades and its control (costs versus access versus stimulating innovation and girded by good business practices and systematically reviewed empirically based best medical procedures/practices) or loss of it were foreseen by pundits of the industry. Let us remember that Medicare was also revised and has continued to be so during its short lifespan beginning in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson. President Trump’s promise to his constituents to spend on building-up our military and infrastructure are also critical and commendable but how revenues are apportioned under his administration will be contestable/questionable. Lastly, are his foreign policies represented by his Secretary of State (a former oil industry executive) Rex Tillerson. Although Tillerson is a highly qualified executive and an ostensibly intelligent individual, his forerunners have not been very successful as demonstrated by USA involvement in one (undeclared) war after another (in the Near East and North Korea) , from my viewpoint. Let’s hope that we do begin a national turn-around to American greatness again. We can do it together!
As a proud citizen of the USA, who by the way, is not the least bit ashamed of its history or that of my own (with authentic native roots), I am disheartened that a productive and progressive solution cannot be agreed to by the primary stakeholders of the Middle East. I also feel there is no one to blame – overlooking any ad hominem attacks on “parties” as terrorists, insurrectionists/rebels, or plain trouble makers bent on preventing any plausible and implementable policy – since one side’s rebel is another side’s “patriot”, American diplomacy there is abjectly full of shortcomings. Nevertheless, we are committed to the defense of our allies, as both President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry have reiterated; yet humanity and justice decry retaliatory attacks that kill innocent civilians, including women and children. The Middle East is a cauldron of unresolved issues and I believe we should not commit military involvement until such time as we have a workable policy we can unquestioningly defend. This means that we may again be committing our children to years of military confrontations on foreign soils (and loss of their limbs/lives). What price, freedom?
PS: Robin Williams – May he rest in peace
From a historical perspective, it appears that “might makes right”. With regard to the decent peoples of the Ukraine and Russia whose ancestral struggles have cut-out contentious national boundaries, frontier inhabitants may view themselves as nationals of the neighboring country rather than nominal citizens of the “home” country. In contrast and by comparison, it did not serve Native Americans well to be autonomous “nations” living within the United States of America; rather, it required a federal bureau to protect and defend the rights of Native Americans and later an administrative agency to minister to the needs of their health and welfare. The dissociation and recent demise of the Soviet Union has brought many deaths, sorrow, and increased hardship to former constituent and autonomous republics. The challenge of newly gained freedom and formulation of alliances will take concerted effort to effect before conditions return to normalcy. Hopefully, law and order restoring domestic tranquility will return soon. Good luck to everyone involved.
safe from internal and external threats! If international law will not defend it then they must be forever vigilant against real and perceived threats.
The loss of innocent lives must stop, however. Tit for tat, unhappily, may be the method of accommodation and justice but it should cease and yield to the rule of law and order.