Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks!

The world according to the current crop of nabobs running for the president is a dangerous and frightening place. But it turns out that despite some scary headlines, it really isn't. We live in possibly the most peaceful time in world history. There are dangers for sure, and we have become incredibly adept, thanks to transformations in modern media, at detecting and monitoring even the most geographically and statistically remote threats, but by and large more people live lives of relative quiet. I for one am thankful for the relative peace in our times. I am grateful for a leader who refuses to be stampeded into yet one more short-sighted military incursion.

The economy continues to improve though sadly we still are subject to the naysayers who always speak of gloom and doom despite clear indicators that times continue to steadily get better, at least in the United States. Certainly too many still suffer from the outrageous events which years ago drove the world to the brink, and from policies which predate that dramatic downturn. But while I can properly feel sympathy for those adjusting to new circumstances, I don't want to forget to be grateful for what I have, though likely don't deserve. I've been lucky by and large, as has my family despite some real hardships in recent years. Gas prices are low and that's always good news during the holidays.

To listen to pundits, you might imagine we live in the apocalypse (not the zombie one either), a time of unprecedented suffering. We don't of course, that's all balderdash designed to scare and sway the unwary.  Technology continues to make medicine more and more a true miracle, which hopefully thanks to recent changes in public policy more folks have access to. The Affordable Care Act is working for many but has hit some snags and it will require some repair. But even if the worst develops and it fails on its own, it has forever changed the terms of the healthcare debate where no one defends the original system as the "best in the world" anymore, but realize that improvements must be made. You can no long "repeal" without "replacing" and that replacement has some specific requirements. We are better off regardless.

Today, of all days on my favorite holiday I want to be upbeat. Today I want to be thankful for what I have and for those around me in this land of plenty.

It could be worse. It really really could.

For your entertainment check out this vintage Blondie and Dagwood Thanksgiving sequence

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. As a Brit I want to echo your admiration of Barack Obama - if only he could have a third term, eh ? The U.S. healthcare system was never seen as "the best in the world" here - on the contrary, it is regarded as a nightmare to be avoided at all costs. We have had free healthcare since 1948 which is extremely popular and even the most right-wing Conservatives would never dare oppose it - in fact our current Conservative government bends over backward to prove how much they value and support the NHS. In Western Europe since 1945 we have had the longest continuous period of peace since the end of the Roman Empire in AD 476 thanks in large part to the European Union. Unfortunately there are those who would love to see the EU break up - in a couple of years we are due to have a referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU which would be madness in my opinion. The debate over our future in Europe is being mainly driven by immigration - a lot of people think that if we leave the EU there will be a huge drop in immigration but they are just deluded - we have an ageing society and we need immigration. But I'm quietly confident that the UK won't vote to leave the EU - it's too big a gamble with our economic future and most people will see that (I hope).

    1. Nice to hear such a clear perspective on those issues. The healthcare system here is ragtag at best, a dream for those who can afford it and catch-as-catch-can for those who can't (which is most of us). Obama merely regulated the largely ungoverned insurance agencies and you'd have thought he slaughtered Adam Smith himself, so up in arms were the unbridled capitalists who shame everyone into thinking that to share is to show weakness. But now the die is cast and we can move forward with the concept of public access (if limited at the moment) made real. We won't go back, because as you suggest even Conservatives aren't going to be the ones who take it away. In my own state we just elected a boob who promised to do just that and already he is having to back down from his more severe promises.

      I know you guys don't celebrate it, but have a Happy Thanksgiving anyway.

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