In writing anything about ‘the future’, I recall what others have previously surmised. Astronaut Neil Armstrong said, “the future is difficult to predict.” Perhaps a very obvious statement but profound none the less.
Our nation’s trajectory shouldn’t be aimless.
A prediction or forecast is a statement about what will occur in the future, not necessarily based on experience or knowledge. History is suggested to be useful in predicting the future. As so often heard by many of us, failure to learn from history, dooms us to repeat it.
These past couple of weeks have shown how events can envelope and overwhelm in spite of the best intentions. At the end of August President Obama, was making his case on why we need to become militarily involved with another country in the middle east. Syria was said to have fired chemical weapons as a reprisal on those who were claimed to be participating in a civil war against the state. The lives of many children were lost as a result of this attack. This prompted President Obama to take the initiative and call for a punitive strike using missiles and smart bombs against any site that may potentially contain harmful chemical weaponry.
Despite the explanations and the pleading, it appeared the U.S. would unilaterally attack the country of Syria. Russian President Putin went on a public relations offensive attempting to prevent another military engagement from the U.S. in the region. At first his message was given little credibility but between discussions in St. Petersburg with the G20 and a published paid advertisement in the New York Times, Putin’s’ message of peaceful negotiation over missile and bomb appears to prevail, at least for now.
I and others wonder how long it will be before the U.S. becomes politically savvy enough to understand its interference in world affairs doesn’t often mix well, especially when we invite ourselves over the protestation of other nations. This type of hubris is the very same thing President Obama traveled the world to explain as our failure as a nation to global leaders, just after he first was elected. Perhaps it’s time to ask our leaders to reel in the line and focus on solutions on a variety of issues at home, not the least of which is the economy. We appear to have more intensity and direction to global spying than any recognizable plan for domestic improvement. Infrastructure was a momentary blip on the campaign trail when we heard about all of the ‘shovel ready’ activities just ready to take off after the new President took office. Since then, most of us have had to use shovels for a lot of other purposes.
We need to do more than hope things will get better by passing out loans to failing institutions or increasing our national debt through loans from the central bank and diminishing our assets through increased money supply from the treasury.
In Lewis Carroll’s’ novel, Alice in Wonderland, a dialogue began;
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where . . .”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Our educational system needs to understand we’re teaching skills to build upon for our students not regimental tech guides for the future. If we want our children to learn to think out of the box, shouldn’t that begin within our schools? Shouldn’t we help them to learn about life and discover how to recover from failure and not create improved test takers?
Is it the role of government to provide for all our physical needs or is it there to provide protection from a common enemy and promote our welfare? Can we improve our welfare and our infrastructure without layer upon layer of unaccountable bureaucracy?
Is it wise or even beneficial to have a government that spies on all our private communications? How do we limit the control, allow freedom and still provide security?
A Day In The Park
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
– Groucho Marx
- Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley
- CEOs at TechCrunch Disrupt: It’s Time to Innovate a Better Society
- What to Make of Putin’s Odd Op-Ed, and Other Syria Observations – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- As Obama twists, Assad turns up the heat (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- Commentary: Russia back as geopolitical force (upi.com)
- Vladimir Putin’s New York Times op-ed, annotated and fact-checked (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- Putin to America: You’re not special (and don’t hit Syria) (tv.msnbc.com)
- Lewis Carroll Society of North America