Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday January 25, 2008...Long forgotten veterans

When I was in grade school, our principal had some war veterans stand up before an assembly - they were veterans of the Spanish-American War. This was about 1949 so these veterans would have been young men back in 1898 and about 70 years old when I saw them. I would venture to say that no one now knows any of the relevant facts of why those boys fought and died in Cuba and the Philippines. That is a war long forgotten now. The last German veteran of World War I just died. Two million German boys died in that war. There are just a few survivors left in the world from The Great War where millions died for some reason now not remembered. The old enemies of that war are now friends and they have new enemies. Wars come and wars go and boys fight and die but the reasons for the war and the fighting and dying are soon forgotten. What a complete waste! Many of those boys would have had good lives and had good jobs and raised good families and maybe a few would have made a great difference in their community. Their blood was left in foreign soil for no long standing good reason. Better to have spoken and negotiated and solved problems and worked at bringing peace than wasting all those lives.
Now every once in a while you get a really obnoxious leader of some foreign country who needs to be knocked down or eliminated, but surely there is a better way than using blunt force and spending thousands of lives. It's so easy to bluster and point fingers and make demands and to put others in harms way and it's so difficult to compromise and speak reasonably with hard headed people, but isn't it worth the effort?

We stumble into so many of these wars without thinking. We helped rebuild Germany after World War I. Our industrialists and business leaders saw an opportunity and helped rebuild the factories in Germany. We helped Saddam in his war with Iran. He was one of our allies. We don't see any further than the nose on our face. We have no long range vision at all. We helped Bin Laden in his fight in Afghanistan against the evil Russians. We now hate Bin Laden and like the Russians. The Germans and the Japanese were our worst enemies ever in World War II, now they are our best friends. We need someone with a bit more vision guiding our nation through the obstacles ahead - someone who is able to look beyond the next immediate problem and guide us toward a safer course.

We need someone to help us end wars and avoid future wars. We don't need any more veterans of forgotten wars to remind us of our short-sightedness.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday January 24, 2008...What! Me worry?

I figured that the powers that be wouldn't let the market drop too far or to allow us to slip into a major recession quite yet. It wouldn't be politically expedient. Now, after the next election, it will be a completely different situation. Until then, taxes will be lowered, the government printing presses will be pressed into overtime and inflation will be allowed to raise it's ugly head. That way, the Democrats will have a major recession and inflation and unemployment all to deal with at the same time and the Republican can say “See what happens when you elect Democrats?”. I just wish that all politicians would have to leave their party loyalties behind and act for the betterment of all Americans. We are too much a government of parties and special interests and it isn't about the people at all.

Meanwhile we, the people, have some hard knocks ahead. We have overspent ourselves and find ourselves in debt way over our heads, individually and nationally. Inflation will diminish the value of the debt but will hurt us all with higher prices and less jobs. Look ahead to higher energy costs, higher food costs and less availability. A little stocking up now on essentials would not be unwise, but you can't stock up on everything and you can't buy ahead all that you will need. During the great depression, families and friends had to pitch in together to help make it through. Last time we had the government less involved and they were able to help bail us out. This time the government is totally involved from the start and they will fall with us. The almighty dollar may not be so high and mighty when all is said and done.

But who really knows the future? And who can say the past will be repeated once more? Maybe the future will be all lollipops and butterflies and someone will discover a free source of energy and we'll all be able to live free.

That's what dreams are for -- to counteract the nightmares and realities.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday January 12, 2008...In sickness and in health

Sickness and health, poverty and wealth, birth and death – all a part of life. You never know what life will bring and you don't always enjoy what you have until you don't have it. Once something of value is removed from your life, you realize how important that something was and how much you took it for granted. You know that if you get it back again, you will always appreciate it more, but when you recover from the sickness or climb out of debt you forget too soon the pangs that once you had.

We all know that life holds some dangers in store for us, we just don't know when we will have to face them. We seem to take for granted the good health and whatever wealth we may accrue and forget those times when we had neither. We all know that death ultimately will come and take us away, but we don't cherish each and every day of life that we live.

Winter is a time to reflect on the glorious days of summer, but once summer comes, we will complain about the heat and stay inside. When we are sick, we moan and groan and complain, but when health returns we spend our bodies sometimes unwisely. When we have a little extra money, we seem to fritter it away on unessentials and soon there is no extra. Where did the money go, where did our health go, where did our lives go.

Enjoy the moment. Enjoy what health you have, Enjoy what life you have.
Spend what you have - wisely.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Saturday January 5, 2008...Holiday is over

It's the beginning of a new year and the holiday season has ended. It's hard to get back in the groove after all the parties and gifts and pleasant times. After the holidays everyone seems to suffer some degree of letdown and we all become a bit reflective. It's time to cast out the old year and start anew with new resolutions and hope that some of the errors of the past won't be repeated this year.

Actually January is a bright and cold time of the year. Spring is far ahead and now the world sleeps in a blanket of frost and snow. We pull the blankets up and cover ourselves to be warm and dream of warmer days. The sun is bright and the air is crisp and the world is silent in the snow and hope lies quietly in the back of our minds and we wait for spring.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wednesday January 2, MMVIII...Not at all.

"My resolution for the New Year is this: to work with Congress to keep our economy growing, to keep your tax burden low, and to ensure that the money you send to Washington is spent wisely -- or not at all," Bush said.

I could have sworn he said "not at all wisely". Isn't that the pattern for the last 7 years? Why break tradition. Why pay for schools and health when we can have a war instead?

Spain was there, France was there, England was there, now we are there - We are the king of the hill. Soon, someone else will be there and we will try to find our new place in the line, much like England has done since World War II.

Once that takes place, our frivolous spending will come back to haunt us and I'm afraid it won't be long now. China and India are gaining momentum.