Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Morning Quiet

It’s a quiet Sunday morning and all the world’s a stage and I a simple player with but a bit part in the drama.
by Charlie Leck

My Parents Wedding…caused a lot of readers to send many wonderful letters and my brother writes about it [The Marriage of My Parents]:


“I wish I was at that dinner with you.

“We heard plenty after the event – like Mom telling off Father Law [priest], then giving in to being remarried by Father Law – to please Grandma Svejda – but not in the church.

“The best man was a German (died by suicide during World War II (Arnold Ankerw). See the photo included.

I have a number of predictions and prognostications
for you this morning. It’s a great morning in Minnesota to contemplate these things. My library is up here on the third floor and I can look out to both the east and west as I work. The trees tower above me, however, and I can only see the sunshine splashing on the green leafs along with an occasional dab of blue sky. The door that leads out on to the east deck is open and brilliantly fresh air is streaming into the room. It’s in the 60s now (7 o’clock), but it is due to climb into the high 70s. What a day to be optimistic!

President Obama
is watching his popularity drop. It’s not surprising, is it? These are tough times. Two wars drag on and cost us a fortune each day (not his fault, but he is having a hard time implementing his campaign promises on our little tussle in Iraq). It will be years before we’re totally removed from that nation and we’ll always have a strong presence there in the future – looking at the size of our new embassy for crying-out-loud.

Our economy is improving, but unemployment continues to sag dreadfully. The DOW crawled over 9,000 on Friday. There will be up and down movement for the next month, but the climb will be steadily upward and it will reach 10,000 by year’s end. The recession will then be declared, officially, over. The Health Care and Health Insurance issues are difficult ones, but nobody said they’d be easy.

The deficit is disastrous and the Republicans want to blame Obama’s stimulus plan for it. Facts still pin the number on the wars and the military costs we’re facing. The war in Iraq was a disastrous mistake. There are not very many people who try to defend the decision any more. How can our nation continue to make such choices? It’s been interesting to listen to the observations of the late Walter Cronkite that are being played over and over since his death. He supported the war in Vietnam in the beginning and then grew to see what a mistake it was – how meaningless and purposeless. When Cronkite declared the war unwinnable, President Johnson turned to one of his advisors and said: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the nation!”

My assessment is that Obama is doing a good to very good job. Unlike his predecessor, he doesn’t duck questions and pretty much levels with the press. That gets him into hot water occasionally. If I was forced to predict, the economy’s steady improvement will save him; he won’t get the health care package that he really wanted; both wars will drag on and he’ll have a hard time meeting his withdrawal goals (that’s what always happens in gorilla fighting). If he avoids major gaffs, he’ll get reelected in 2012.

Minnesota’s health care system
(along with a couple of other states like Washington and Oregon) will become models for the nation’s future health care delivery system. Health care providers will be paid on the basis of achievements and successes and their doctors will be salaried. Laws about dropping insured consumers will be toughened and pre-existing conditions will not be a factor in coverage.

Taxes will rise
as they must; for they have been artificially low for the last decade. Those with more will pay more. It’s the only way a nation such as ours can really work. For the next 5 or 6 years taxes will be artificially high to make up for this decade of debt. By the time Obama leaves office, in seven years, the national debt will be very low or eliminated. Then taxes will stabilize. We’ve got to remember that wars cost money. Some wars are probably necessary, but we’ll need to be more careful about where and when we send our troops to fight.

will be revolutionized. The revolution is blowing in the wind. It will not be totally violent. The abuses in Iran over the last two decades have finally awakened a brilliant and creative people. These people want to be a real part of the developing world. In ten years it will be difficult for you to remember how awful the current Iran was.

will be a virtual democracy in ten years. It will have happened naturally, step-by-step, and we will have nothing to do with it. China will rank up there with us as a world power, as will India. Russia will still be struggling because it cannot now and will not then be able to define itself and its mission.

The Islamic World
will also change dramatically in the next decade. The demand for oil will be declining and the Middle East nations will not have that bully-club to wield anymore. Women will have demanded and will have achieved equal rights with men.

Troubled spots around the globe
will exist in many parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. Global warming will have impacted both those parts of the world and there will be great hunger. China will be a leader in feeding the hungry so will the United Sates.

will be one of the world’s major concerns. How do we keep providing clean, healthy water when so much of it is polluted? The great scientific minds of India and China will provide most of the answers and the problem will be solved – or at least a strong Band-Aid will have been applied.

General Motors
will survive and prosper. The game plan laid out by the President’s team will work. The new Board of Directors and the new CEO will be creative. It will be decades before it’s back to where it once was, but it will again be a mighty company.

Our cars
will be quiet, economical and comfortable. In 10 years most people will drive automobiles that don’t require gasoline. China will produce more automobiles than any nation on Earth. The United States will be way down on the list, in fourth or fifth place.

will still be a problem in America in ten years, but work will have begun to fix the problem. High speed rail corridors will have been mapped out using many of our current Interstate Highway routes. Construction will have begun on several of the important corridors, mainly all along the east coast, from Boston to Miami, and the west coast, Seattle to San Diego. Air travel will be in much small, lighter planes. Flying, in 20 years, will have lost popularity and rail will be the number one choice for domestic travel.

I can only hope
I’ll still be kicking and blogging, just so I can check out my own prognostications.

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