April 8, 2013

The first Monday of the second quarter of 2013….and from the looks of my office and the dust accumulating elsewhere in my house, I’ve either been slacking off most of the winter or my medical focus and these last two weeks of being down and out have been taking a greater toll than I thought!

After two plus bottles of cough syrup, lots of throat spray, gargling with peroxide for the sore mouth, far too many boxes of Kleenex and lots and lots of sleep, I feel like perhaps I will live…but still not sure how I will weather all the physical therapy ahead.  Nevertheless, before I can get to real work hidden on my desk, once again, the post it notes and news clippings must be addressed.

More on Drones…

Recently we had a demonstration against drones here in Mpls…100 Minnesota Peace Action Coalition activities staged a drone protest. I took note of a quotation in the Strib attributed to a 20 year old participant:  “The reality of the situation is that there is a lot of collateral damage, and it’s turning people against us”.

Understand, I am not actively advocating the use of drones, nor am I saying people should not raise the issues associated with their use.  I am not sure about drone use; I just don’t want to be pulled down into the drama of the Republicans posturing as they grasp for “last breaths” to redeem themselves; and I am concerned that those protesting may not have a proper perspective.

And that of course, brings me back to a familiar complaint of mine….the irresponsibility of the Bush Administration in the 2000s, aided by a Press that allowed them to get away with it.  As Bush left office, the WORLD was not on our side…two wars-at least one of which was unnecessary and the other was not the most successful-although, in the end, Osama bin Laden is dead-no thanks to the Bush Admin.  Their habit of counting ONLY US lives lost in their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq may have made them feel better, but did little for our reputation and status.  To dwell only on the tip of the iceberg – American LIVES lost minimizes the real tragedy…what about Afghan and Iraqi lives lost including innocent citizens?…How many wounded on all sides?…How much collateral damage did we do in those countries?…What is the REAL financial cost of those wars?…How much did the Bush folly-financed on the “credit card” lead to our deficit today?…What steps were taken by the Bush Administration to plan for financial help to wounded veterans that will continue for perhaps the first half of the 21st century or longer?

All those 2000s missteps tend to make me lean towards drones….yes- they, too, cause issues but perhaps they are an improvement over the flawed thinking of the late 20th century.

Nevertheless; glad to see the engagement of our youth in highlighting the issue; now let’s push to for the answers above, do a comparison between boots on the ground and the drones, and see what restrictions and oversights are needed to improve upon the use of drones as a better alternative.


New Perspective on the Jobs Scene….

Yesterday, the Strib introduced an influencer on the jobs situation that I have overlooked.  I’ve asked the question regarding statistics of people using the difficulty as an opportunity to rethink how they make a living and in some cases, providing the impetus to start up their own business; but  of course, the beginning of the BOOMER retirement will significantly impact those “troubling” numbers.  If their search for employment has not been successful, some have had to rethink “retirement” plans as they reach that age when they qualify for Medicare and Social Security.  It becomes a “lifeline” that provides a financial cushion as they rethink what the future holds for them.

It is permanent income; it allows some breathing room for people like me.  I was not searching for full time employment, but indeed, I have had to take a breather to adjust to the ramifications of a fall a decade ago that meant several months of physical therapy in 2012; followed by joint injections and more physical therapy this year.  My intention of working until I am 75 or 80 has not changed; I have no dream of RETIRING; but I am using the temporary health issues as a time to explore what I want to do in my third career and what new worlds will open before me.

I still believe that although the Traditionalists before us dreamed of a life of leisure as soon as- and as long as-possible, the Boomers may not all want to follow in their footsteps.  Personally, the more I see of those that have followed that path, and its impact on their cognitive abilities, I cringe to think that may lie ahead for me.

But I digress; the topic was the impact of Boomers who have “retired” being counted as those that have “dropped out” of the jobs market.  I had totally overlooked how that is impacting the employment “numbers” we watch for every month.  Shame on me.

And speaking of brains and cognitive abilities….

Hats off to Obama for his new BRAIN initiative.  For the last twenty years, the world of adult learning has been revolutionized as we begin to understand a bit of how the brain really works.  I predict this new initiative will be among the most memorable act of the Obama Presidency…among other things, we may just learn the answers to issues raised in recent Strib articles….How much of an impact and why is it that older men having children may be an autism risk….and how does a walk in the park actually reboot the brain? 


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