Just a couple of things that have come to mind over the last several days. Naturally, none of them actually have to do with the holidays.
This little item about one of our vaunted public servants, convicted of unethical activities, is now asking for donations for his legal defense just made me stop to wonder at the unlimited gall those with power seem to have and the absolute barest regard they seem to have for the voters' intelligence. (Of course, in light of some of the people that have been elected in the US, maybe that regard is not so far-fetched, after all.) Just to make sure I have everything in perspective, a man who is paid a salary by the people that he is voted to represent then squanders the public trust by engaging in unethical activities (whether he meant to or not only causes one to wonder at his actual competence) and now is soliciting further donations from the citizens he purportedly represents to pay for his legal defense. In essence, he's ripping them off twice - at least. I'd be curious to see who actually pays into that fund. I'd bet that they're the same type of people who invest in pyramid schemes and hedge those bets with lottery tickets for retirement.
It's always funny to me how people conveniently forget, or outright ignore, history and its impact on our views of the present. A good example of this is the view of Afghanistan from a recent historical perspective. This was brought home to me when reading an article in Foreign Policy entitled Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan and viewing pictures from there dating to the 50's and 60's. Yet the pictures that we see today are the result of a nation that has essentially suffered through continuous war for more than 30 years - and still no reasonable end is in sight (in spite of President Obama's promises to the contrary). It made me wonder if someone will look at pictures of the United States (or some other highly developed nation from today) 50 years from now and wonder "What the hell happened? This isn't the United States that I know today!" It may not seem immediately conceivable but it is very possible to envision such a scenario. No nation will last forever (history has shown that to be true) and, as will all forms of life on the planet, every nation will evolve through various peaks and valleys as it develops. It's certainly worth thinking about and seeing what can be done today to avoid the mishaps that Afghanistan currently deals with.
Actually, since New Year is coming up very soon, I wonder if I should make a set of resolutions?
Nah, probably not. It's not like I've ever adhered for more than a short time to any other resolution I've made in my many years here. I will just continue with trying to do the best I can at what I do and prepare for anything that comes the way of me and mine. It's worked out ok so far, I suppose...