The Russian Bear and the American Eagle
In the early 1990’s in Saudi Arabia, during my assignment at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, the Saudis and the Russians opened diplomatic relations. The U.S. and its allies, officially including Russia, had just won the first Gulf war to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation. The days were full of optimism and enthusiasm. Russia… Read More »
Why Buy Health Insurance or Pay a Fee?
Healthy people should buy health insurance or pay a fee for two reasons. One reason is that good health is not a given, even for those folks who keep their weight down and exercise. Accidents and unplanned illnesses happen. Also, the expenses of those who become ill or injured and have no insurance are paid… Read More »
This day, scenes of suffering will float across our computer screens: perhaps atrocities in Syria, or a kidnapping in Nigeria, or a terrorist attack somewhere in the world, or an earthquake in southeast Asia, or the homeless caught in freezing weather in one of our cities. We are bombarded with scenes of suffering, both in… Read More »
On the Way to War, Peace Broke Out
I grew up in the shadow of nuclear war. During my lifetime, the Soviet Union and the United States fought each other in proxy wars all over the globe from South America to Vietnam. If the past history of nations and weapons were any guide, the two powers would, at some time, have used their… Read More »
No More Protected Space
In North America, we have for centuries lived in protected space because of the physical distance between us and the rest of the world. That protection began to break down with telegraphic communication and newer means of transport. After two world wars, air travel and television became part of our lives. Today, mobile phones are… Read More »
Corporate Boss Versus Public Servant
The Economist, in a recent issue (December 10, 2016) , pointed to signs that Donald Trump’s presidency would follow a business model. Leaders of corporations are not elected by the people. In a sense, company heads are dictators, as far as the everyday running of the company is concerned. They may answer to stockholders, but… Read More »
War and Peace, Rome and Jerusalem, Hope in Bethlehem
“Jews as much as Romans viewed war as a natural condition but, unlike Romans, they sometimes expressed a hope that this might change. . . . the biblical prophets Isaiah, Micah and Joel all looked forward with longing to a time when there would be no more war at all.” –Martin Goodman, as quoted in… Read More »
Why Did Women Vote for Trump?
About forty-one percent of women voted for Trump in the November election, according to numbers from The Washington Post. Why would a significant percentage of women vote for Trump, despite his recorded remarks toward females which many consider sexist and disparaging? Why would they not vote for Clinton, a woman who surely epitomizes women’s search… Read More »
Homelessness Is No Community
Writing in First Things (“Homeless,” June/July 2016), R.R. Remo talks of the homelessness felt by so many in today’s world. The obvious homeless increasingly sleep on streets or in encampments in U.S. cities. The refugees flooding into Europe are homeless, as are many who cross national borders in North America. Homelessness is not limited to… Read More »
The Cost of Saving Money on Health Care
Grays Harbor County, in my home state of Washington, cast the majority of its votes for Donald Trump in the recent presidential election. According to Danny Westneat, columnist for The Seattle Times, it’s the first time in almost a century that the county voted Republican instead of Democratic. According to state unemployment rates for October,… Read More »
Thoughts After Reading THE TERROR YEARS by Lawrence Wright
The Terror Years; From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State by Lawrence Wright is a thought-provoking book. Its somber analyses ring true. Especially disturbing is his chapter on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Each side believes retaliation is justified. Carrying out what one believes is justified, however, sparks an endless cycle of killing and violence. Each year the… Read More »
What Happens if the Jobs We Want to “Bring Back” No Longer Exist?
Years ago I worked for the Coca-Cola Company at its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The company gave an orientation tour for the new employees. As part of the tour, we visited a Coca-Cola bottling plant. I was amazed at the small number of workers employed in the plant. A few people tended the bottling machines.… Read More »