North Korea claims to have produced a hydrogen bomb,
scaring the pants off one and almost all, despite the "North's"
proven track record of largely blarney-blathering. Subsequent
analysis seems to reveal (-thankfully!) that is yet another fantasy.
It is no idle dream, however, that North Korea has had hostile
intents and actions before now, so they DO bear watching,
especially in view of their political, poetically divine royalty's
The U.S. Congress has advanced a significant step in its dislike
(a mostly republican legislators' attitude) of the Affordable Care
Act (the ACA, or Obamacare); having just passed both houses
of congress, it's on its way to Mr. Obama's desk for veto or
signing, which none of us who watch politics would imagine.
Conservative republicans making most of the triumphant noise
predict they hold enough promised votes for an override--we'll
see. There are problems with the ACA, I agree, but it took
courage and persistence to even attempt a humane solution to
the many long standing, unjust policies and practices of the
USA's insurance industry. Please, let's not throw out the whole
thing, but fix the few, yet to many, serious snafus with the act as
it is currently constituted. (The mathematicians and actuaries
must rejigger the formulas so that premiums for the healthy
are affordable --as in the act's actual name. If successful,
more young working people will decide to join rather than
pay the penalties, which are modest.)
The dreadful, disgraceful litany of irrational, unjustified violence
continues, on the part of Americans anywhere and too many
authority figures (AKA police officers). This unholy spiral
of chaos and bloodshed, upsetting and destructive disorder
should alarm EVERYONE, period. Let's get out there and
DO something! Write and meet your elected officials, take
a principled and intelligent stand, suggest solutions. As
anthropologist Margaret Mead memorably said, a few
people have always made the difference and always will.
I intend to be one of them.
New year, same fears, yet we still seem to inchoately muddle,
wobble along. We can do better; to survive, we MUST.