A short ditty that I've remembered for a good while has come to mind me so many news stories have been when analyzing President Trump: If we could see ourselves as others see us, it would from many a blunder free us and foolish notion. I can't remember the author, but it seems to fit Trump to a "T." The news articles of late have said it all in many ways, shapes, forms and times. One recently by David Brooks, proud Republican columnist on the New York Times staff, especially caught my eye. He wrote a May 15 opinion, When the world is led by a child.
Drain the swamp. That is what President Trump kept saying at campaign rallies last year. Our political system is corrupt, Sen. Bernie Sanders shouted at his rallies as he ran for president. Our democracy has been called a "corporatocracy" as they point out our democracy is ruled or controlled by corporations. Our elections have become a sad spectacle with big money steering voters to cast ballots counter to their own interests. Both our local newspapers have carried stories on the effect of this inequity recently.
The following are very serious problems of our world today. They are not only serious now, but threatening to be very much worse if nothing is done to address them. Overpopulation: It's not as big of a threat in the U.S. as it is in Africa, India and other places, but it's threatening to become very much worse. The greater population problems are elsewhere, the more appealing our still open spaces become to an overcrowded world. In spite of religious doctrine, we need to reduce pregnancies by making birth control easier and abortions less onerous.
When I was a tyke on a small rural dairy farm near Menomonie, Wis., near the little white church in the vale, there was an overall guiding principle: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!" It's not really difficult to understand is it?
I had written the following before the Superior Telegram's July 11 front page article, Wisconsin tax cuts benefit top 1 percent. There's no doubt about it. Can't we correct this unfairness? We hear very little about U.S. welfare going to the rich. Welfare is associated negatively with the poor, the unlucky in life's struggle. We often hear, "If only the down and out were willing to work, they wouldn't need our help." That criticism of the down and out, and their lack of get up and go, ignores the benefits received by the well off.
Keep smiling. Life is a gift. It really is. At my age, that is easy to remember. A letter from Roger H. Nelson added to my gift. He was a native of Solon Springs and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1972. He and his wife, Jane Louise live now in Texas, but spend their summers in Solon Springs on Lake St. Croix. He sent me a copy of a paper called Seniorific News, which has some humor, a little of which I share: Overheard in the YMCA locker room: First man: What are you doing today? Second man: Nothin'.
I was reminded of greed a few days back when I read an article in the June 11 Duluth News Tribune, "U.S. one of the worst on health divide between rich and poor." The opening summed it up with these words, "The U.S. has one of the world's largest health disparities between the rich and the poor — behind only Chile and Portugal. This was based on a Harvard study.
I have five signs that say war is not the answer on the front and back of my car. It's easy to say, isn't it? It seems impossible to do. Many people get killed. Those on the losing side; good riddance, they were the bad ones. We were the good ones and lost too many of ours as well. Will the gains we've won be permanent? Probably not and greed lives on. Land that joins ours is divided erroneously. As corporate interests see the possibilities, more of it should be ours and will be again once this is won by our military.
I am not writing this from death's dark door — not there yet. The severity and decreased physical condition alerts me that my day will come in the foreseeable future. My doctor for the last 25 years, Gene Karwoski, seemed more than a little impressed with a book he has read, "Being Mortal" by Atul Guwande. The book impressed me as well and caused me to begin this life summary as I deal with my final years. In retrospect, I think Dr. Karwoski may have been nudging me to read it. With my life experience, in retrospect, I need to say that my first good luck was being a white male.
Oh come to the church in the vale. Those days are passed for most of us, especially as old as the writer of this piece. Our little church was centered in the Wisconsin Lucas Valley middle and about three-quarters of a mile walk for me, the little farm boy who lived off Highway 29 up a forested coulee. We didn't have a car available; that meant walking for us after the cows were milked, fed, watered and other chores were completed.