An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Archive for September, 2011

America needs to seriously examine our military spending, and soon

This is an article I wrote for last week’s issue of the The Northern Light, but it got axed due to repeats of topics and space-crunches.

It is not a very popular message right now – that America may just have to scale back on our military efforts around the world.  It is part of a growing reality that Americans have to face – that our economy is in trouble and it needs work.

At a general assembly meeting of the United Nations, held on the September 21st, President Obama spoke.  He had a simple thought about how peace among nations is done.

“Ultimately, peace depends on compromise, among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied.”

Unlike his economic policies, here he makes a very valid point.  Peace between nations, and inside of nations is something that people have to come together to figure out.  It is poetic that he brings up this notion, because right now, America needs to scale back what we are doing.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the people all clamored for what we called “justice” to be brought to the leaders of Al Qaeda.  It has always been a point of interest how some Americans seem to believe that killing another person is justice.  This country went to war, led by a President who was very open to the concept.  This was a mistake.

Obama came into office with two wars we were involved in.  Now, this country is involved in five.  For a nation that was in a severe recession, and is heading in the direction of a double-dip recession, this is not a good thing.

It cannot be argued that America’s economy is in a really bad place.  The August reports showed no job growth at all.  America’s credit rating has gone down.  The Stock Market is going down.  The big question becomes, how do we fix this?  How do we make it so that this nation doesn’t suffer an economic collapse?  The answer may not make people happy.

Military spending in this country is one of the biggest holes that money keeps getting thrown into.  According to the National Priorities Project, over $1.2 trillion have been spent in total in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Alaska has paid over $2 billion in this war effort, and the numbers are growing every day.

America has the largest military force on Earth.  It is larger than the top ten nations that come behind us combined.  What makes this problematic is that not only does our nation have the largest military on Earth, but it is over-burdened and over-extended.

“We have tens of thousands of troops in Korea and Japan.  We have over 50,000 troops in Germany.  Hitler, ladies and gentlemen, I think we got him,” said Bill Maher on his stand-up special But I’m Not Wrong.

That’s a good perspective to have.  Not even examining the major wars that we are involved in, how much money is being spent in places that we serve no purpose?  What’s more, how we use the military is a waste of time.

To go after those who destroyed the World Trade Center, we should have done so with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.  Richard Dreyfuss was asked if 9/11 was a civics lesson, and if we learned the right lessons from it during an interview on CNN.

“We’ve learned the wrong lessons from it.  We are learning the wrong lessons from it, because we’re lying about it.”

The fact is that Bush made the decision to call it the war on terror, instead of calling it the war on extremist Islam, of even just the war on Al Qaeda.  That would have opened the door for the other groups to distance themselves, and even aid America.  Instead, that door has been closed, and when the moderate Muslim community has tried to play nice with American efforts, a lot of the time, our country ignores it.

Take the instance of the “Underwear Bomber.”  The father of that man had met with a member of the CIA and told them that his son was going to bomb us, and they ignored him.  So our efforts are misplaced on all fronts.

The cold reality is that this country can literally not afford these wars anymore.  America is heading into another recession, and it is time to scale back, and slash the military budget into ribbons.  That is a part of the answer to what is plaguing this country.

And what’s more, the people need to get on board.  For a long time, the mentality of this country has been, if you are not for the wars, you are a bad person.  Dissent and discussion needs to come back to this country, and more than anything else, that is what should also be considered when discussing our social and economic future.

Peace out,

Lefty

#OccupyWallStreet, revolution in its infancy, or just a game?

This is the question, isn’t it?  This is something that America has been needing for some time, yet the horrible truth is that every effort to ignore this has been done.  Not only that, but the private army of the status quo, aka, the cops, have been used as a weapon against a completely peaceful protest.  At this very moment, a live stream feed is going out.  The link is here (http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution).  Now, like any protest, there are those who are involved who are very well informed, and there are those who are not, but the point of interest in all of this is that these people are being ignored, and cracked down upon.

It all began as a #-tag on Twitter that I saw.  I didn’t even know much about it until a few friends hit me up with some links.  Now it has become one of the most horribly disregarded events in American history.

Keith Olbermann talked with filmmaker Michael Moore about this on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.  This event is not being televised hardly at all.  Egypt is going through a massive revolution, and it is given almost constant coverage and being critically examined.  Here we have a group of people who are just as dedicated to making social change.  Or are they?  That really is the question that does need to be addressed before the people of this country actually critically examine these efforts.

It is not a myth that our country’s economics are broken.  Our nation’s infrastructure is falling apart.  We have candidates like Ron Paul who wanted to completely destroy it and take this country back to feudalism.  Then we have candidates like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry who want to make the people of this nations servants to their religious views.  And each of them has their own cultish following.

Part of the problem in this is that those who claim to support the views that the people who started this had are not giving their support.  Current network is the only one that I have seen giving this some legitimate coverage, aside from PBS, BBC, and NPR.  The corporate media is almost nowhere to be found, unless you count Fox talking about how these people are all just idiots.  But in government, where are they?  Well, since the mayor of New York blocked this peaceful protest off before it even got started, the answer there is pretty simple.

And does Wall Street take it seriously?  No, they do not.  They laughed at the protestors.  The agape jaws of our economy don’t ever take the people seriously.  This brings us back to the question – what is this?  The big hope is that this will grow into the seeds of a revolution.  It must be a peaceful revolution.  We can’t afford to let ourselves get violent about this, because that will make them crack down further.

If there is to grow into something more, it needs two things – more people, and some of those in power giving their support.  That is it.  That is what is needed.  Occupy Wall Street could be the start of something more.  It could be the start of a nation-wide effort to let those in government know that we have had enough, and we want some global change.  To date, it is being ignored, lambasted, and cracked down on.  Over 100 arrests, including those who were making efforts to get information out, like the members of Global Revolution.

Honestly, perhaps Michael Moore had the right idea, if this is to be the seeds of revolution –

I would encourage people who watch this show to think about – okay, you can’t make it to New York City, but there’s a branch of Chase bank in your town.  There’s a branch of Bank of America.  And there’s nothing preventing you from organizing a demonstration outside that branch.  With signs, with possibly even civil disobedience, to make your voices’ heard.”

At the moment, this is not a major thing.  At the moment, this is just several hundred people.  If this is to be something more, those who endorse the cause have to get down there, or do what Moore is suggesting, and make your voices heard elsewhere.  That is my thought, anyway.  I am glad that this is going on.  For a long time, I didn’t think this nation had it in them.  America, it is time to make your voices heard.

And if nobody steps up.  If nobody chooses to make the decision to pursue this further, then it was a game after all, and the revolution that this nation needs will just be ignored.

Peace out,

Lefty

The Universal Health Care Debate

This is an area which I am very firmly on the side of yes, we need universal health care.  However, I am not a completely idealistic man.  This must be a practical application.  This must be done right.  It must be done so that it can maximize efficiency, and minimize problem.  A lot of people seem to be of the mindset that true universal health care is impossible.  They are basically just dismissing it off-hand.  Not only do I believe that universal healthcare in the US is possible, I believe that it can be done fairly easily, and can benefit everyone.

Universal health care is a simple concept.  The idea is that you have a system that is built around having a system that can provide health care coverage to all members of a given society.  Some people seem to believe that this is a totally novel concept.  One of the big problems in modern society here in the US is that people don’t seem to realize that not only has this been done before, it is being done now, and in a lot of places, it is being done very well.

A study was recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that says that the system that England has, NHS, is the most cost-effective and most efficient system on Earth.  And where does the United States rank?  According to an article in The Guardian, which was about the aforementioned study, we are the least cost-effective, and the least efficient.  This is not the first time that this has come up.  Article after article comes out about how the United States spends more on its healthcare than the rest of the industrialized world, and we are the least efficient.  If we were getting more bang for our buck, maybe that would mean more, we aren’t.  Instead, there are millions of Americans uninsured, and we have people in this country who honestly have to ask the question of whether or not they will eat for dinner, or get medicine.

So, what is the solution?  Well, that’s pretty simple – scrap Medicare and Medicaid and simply give people in this country universal health care.  Rather than look at the perks first, let’s take a look at the problems.  The biggest hurdle against this, as it has been very well pointed out, is that this nation’s bureaucratic system is a total mess.  Those who make this argument are not wrong.  The next big argument is when people look at Canada, and make the argument that people have to wait for various services.  Britain has a similar problem.  This is not being argued.

Let’s address the last problem first.  While it is a problem in Britain and Canada, the fact is that, according to over 10 years of surveys, polls, and other forms of research, Canadians and the British are more satisfied, overall, with their healthcare than Americans are.  Only eight percent of Canadians want to trade in their health care system for a privitized one like the US.  According to 2005 Harris poll, 75% of responders believed that we should have a system like they have in Europe.  The numbers are totally stacked against this.

Looking at the bureaucracy problem, one thing that doesn’t get reported is that universal health care would actually aid this problem!  For real, billions of dollars are wasted every single year in the endless stream of paperwork that is required in order to make the system we have work.  Our current system is the ultimate example of the bureaucratic mess that our country is in.  At best, what we have is a patchwork system that leaves some with great health care, while others with none at all.  With a universal health care system, this would get much better.  Because things would be consolidated underneath one banner, the endless amount of mess that our current system has would be removed.  Plus, it would save money, lots of money.  According to studies that were conducted by groups like the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office, a single-payer system could cover every single person in the country, and still save billions of dollars.

Then there is the Libertarian argument, that this is encroaching on the freedom of the free market, and the socialized medicine is wrong.  Capitalism is a great thing, when a nation is coming into its own, when it is on the rise.  But America isn’t growing anymore.  We have hit a spike, and now we are leveling out.  Japan had the same thing happen to it about 20 years ago.  So, free-market capitalism is no longer palatable for this country.  Socialism, in an economic respect, is useful when growth is longer major, and a group needs to look to the people within it.  A mixed economy, of socialism and capitalism, is the only one that truly works.  And if we want to see the Libertarian argument debunked, it is pretty simple – let’s start with a public option.  Watch as the private insurance companies simply cannot compete.  If the Libertarians want to have a free market, let’s let them have it.  Instead of telling them to go, let’s introduce another player into the mix.  Free market, right?  Well, we introduce another player, and when everybody runs to the public option, and the other companies go belly-up, then we’ll know.

With this nation looking to fix our debt problem, this is an area that could save up to hundreds of billions of dollars, and is not even being looked at.  But the biggest problem to universal health care is something that is almost never talked about.  Of all the argument that I have heard, this is probably the most compelling, and I fully agree that this will be a problem, should a single-payer or public option system be implemented – ethnic medical problems.

Now, when one talks about this, there is going to be somebody who says that they are a racist.  That is not true!  In fact, looking at this is the exact opposite.  It is about realizing that certain ethnic groups are more susceptible to different medical conditions.  This is proven.  Certain groups are more prone to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, you name it.  If we are going to have a universal system, the PC liberals will have to step very far outside of their comfort zone and realize that, while science has proven that there are no different races, there are different ethnic groups who come with a different sets of medical complications.  I am not in way advocating that we deny them coverage, but if we are going to approach this, we have to have informed doctors who know which groups to watch for which conditions.  There is always somebody who will feel that this is a racist thing, but it isn’t.  Ethnobiology, in reference to medicine, means that we have to start holding our doctors to a higher standard.  If a group is more prone to cancer, you watch them for cancer.  And with universal health care, since everybody would be covered, this is definitely something that we would have to take into account.

Not only is universal health care possible, it may just be the only option we have got at this point.  America is in trouble when it comes to health care.  The costs of medicine in this country have outpaced the rise in wages.  More and more people are choosing to ignore their health in place of other crucial services, like food or shelter.  So, if it is so easy, and so simple, why hasn’t it been done?  Well, the answer to that is money.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent over the last few years by different insurance companies to lobby against stuff like this.  Just like how pot was made illegal, it was just good marketing against this that got us to this point.  Misinformation has been the weapon of choice by the conservatives and the Libertarians against univeral health care.  Add to that, that when Obama has a super-majority in the House and the Senate, he was unable to make anything happen, and dropped single-payer and the public option almost the first day, it was doomed before conception.  But this needs to be addressed.  We have to start asking ourselves, both as a nation and a species, how we want to treat one-another, and what kind of future we want.

Peace out,

Eli

UAA College Democrats, a parting of the ways

I am a member of the UAA College Democrats.  It was something that, I will admit, I first got into because I was just trying to escape.  And now, as I look at where things are heading, where it looks to end, I am feeling a stab of deep pity, not just for myself, but for those involved, and I don’t hold it against our leader.  I hold it against our school.  And now, a parting of the ways is happening.

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is a commuter’s school, for the most part.  The bulk of students are in Nursing.  It is the largest field that employs here in Alaska.  Part of me thinks that maybe I should have gotten into that.  It is a career path that can be pretty lucrative, but it involved a metric ton of work.  Well, any career field does that.  In any case, this is the school that I attend.  It is a school where kids come and kids go.

There has never been a unifying force that is behind it.  There has never been an effort to get all the students to come together and be something more than just those who come and go.  The college is continually trying to have events that get students interested.  I figure that only a precious few even draw a decently sized crowd.  It has always been that way.

And therefore, since the college itself has no unifying efforts, or large group who is working to be a part of what goes on there, clubs are also criminally small.  Now that I think about it, UAA represents America at large, in a way.  It is a place where people are only concerned about their own interests.  They get involved only if it affects them.  If they are going to have to lose some of their time to it, they will fight what is happening.  People don’t really care about what happens.  Unless of course, it affects their wallets.  Touch the kids’ money, and they will get right to getting involved.  There really is a lot of poetic irony in the fact that UAA does seem to represent how most of this country is.  People come and go, not caring about the major issues, not caring about the major problems, not caring at all.

And this leads us back to the UAA College Democrats.  The leader, Heather Aronno, is stepping back.  I don’t shame her that.  One of the things that I live by is “do what you feel,” which is really the shorter version of “do what you feel is right for you.”  She has a career path in mind where some level of objectivity will be required.  Granted, I don’t believe in true objectivity, but that isn’t the issue here.  She has to do what is right by her, and at the same time, I, and apparently somebody at KRUA, could see the writing on the wall.  The UAA College Dems are coming to an end.

When one looks at American politics, it isn’t surprising.  People don’t want to get involved in all of that anyway.  And given how people at UAA don’t give a crap about what is going on, or the people who are doing things, then it really makes a lot of sense.  This group was held together by Heather and John Aronno.  A lot of burden to be placed on two people, and now, it is just destined to come apart.  I hope I am wrong, but really, those two were the only ones who were making a significant effort.  I tried to be more involved, but I did really a lot of jack in the grand scheme of the club.  Those two balanced the whole damn thing on their backs.

And now, Heather is making a move to further her own future, which is a good thing to do.  And as she steps back, hoping that another will step forward, I think her and I both know that such is not to be.  Nobody will want to have that on their shoulders.  Nobody will want to work that hard.  It’s sad, horribly sad, but true.

So I raise my can of Vanilla Coke to you, UAA College Dems.  We have reached a parting of the ways.  May you rest in peace.  It was an effort by two good people to make something worthwhile to get people involved here on campus, and then to have that translate out to something more.  But it will perish because of a lack of those who want to get involved.  Perhaps someday, somebody will want to step forward and bring it back.  I hope so.

Au revoir, UAA Dems.  We hardly had time to get to know one-another, but like most things in life, it was a good run, and when one is trying to make a difference in this world, or just trying to do something productive, that is about all that you can hope for.

Peace out,

Eli

Libertarianism is flawed to its core

It is impossible for a person to have anymore, a rational discussion with the Libertarian crowd.  It is becoming almost a little bit upsetting trying to talk with these people rationally.  Because if you go on YouTube, and there was a great video made about this (http://youtu.be/xYaujnR_8NE), you will see this huge group of cultish followers of the Libertarian philosophy.  There was a video that came out recently from a favorite political commentator, Sam Seder, about the YouTube Libertarians (http://youtu.be/0Htf0IgrJrs) and how these people are completley impossible to argue with them.

So, here I am, and I will try and talk rationally.  After my last post talking about how Ron Paul is not the God that they all seem to make him out to be, I didn’t get a single smart argument.  Instead, it was just angry lambasting from people who didn’t want to discuss things rationally.  So here we are, going to give this another shot.

Libertarianism is flawed to its core.  Sorry, but that is the truth.  That idea that little to no government is going to produce a better society is complete and utter nonsense.  One big one that they talk about is no regulation, that the market should take care of itself.  There are not enough hands to do enough facepalms for the idea.  Yes, if we do nothing, if we free up business’ hands, then things will be better.

First off, let’s take a look at the food industry.  A recent report from the CDC said that food-borth pathogens are on the rise here in the US.  Why are they on the rise?  Because we have a horribly underregulated food industry.  We have disease-ridden cattle that we feed to people in this country.  We have produce that carries diseases because there aren’t enough regulations, and those that are in place, the FDA and other groups don’t have enough people to look into them.  It’s the same with airlines industry.  Airline safety is another area that desperatley is underfinanced, and the Libertarians are just fine with looking the other way.

Rand Paul made a statement during an interview with George Stephanopoulos about the BP Gulf spill (forget the Deepwater Horizon BS, this is BP’s spill, just like the last one was called Exxon Valdez) –

 And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault. Instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I’ve met a lot of these miners and their families. They’re very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.

You know, if there wasn’t a mountain of evidence as to the fact that the drilling that was going on in the Gulf was horribly underregulated…no, even then he wouldn’t have a point.  The problem with the Libertarian ideology is that it believes three things to be true

  1. That people will be able to keep informed about all markets, and that businesses will never withhold information about those markets.
  2. That all people are good and want to help everybody else at all times.
  3. That businesses work for the interests of the community, not for the bottom line.

All three of these things are not only ridiculous, but they are impossible to believe.  And when you try to show that the Randian philosophy (Ayn Rand) about free markets is nothing more than a greed-driven mentality designed to help the self is morally repugnant, they all just scream about how you hate their freedom.

This is what TJ Kincaid was talking about in his video.  Because the Libertarians have some ideas that people, those who like those ideas will put the other ones, the horribly socially and morallly corrosive ones out of their minds.  They will forget about the fact that Ron Paul may not have said that the man should just be left to die, but he did say that there should be no establishment effort to help.  He said that the church and the community should step up.  But they didn’t!  They did not step up!  So to tell them that these ideals are wrong, you are just wasting air.

And a lot of their heroes preaching is morally and socially corrosive.  Let’s get rid of the FDA, so people can test for E Coli themselves!  How about getting rid of the EPA?  Yeah, because they’ve never done any good for anybody…except how their regulations got rid of the smog that had infested LA.  How about throwing out the Department of Education?  Yeah, because inner-city kids are going to be able to afford private schools!  Oh wait, they won’t.  Or how about getting rid of the income tax!  Oh right, then this nation would completely collapse.  I keep forgetting that one.  Or let’s go all-out and get rid of the entire social safety net!  People forget that doing that would be tantamount to murder.

Now, it is easy to point out the flaws of one system, but if you have an established state, of any kind, you need a strict infrastructure to manage it.  Anarchy doesn’t work.  Anarcho-capitalism doesn’t work.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and with human nature, it’s a power vacuum.  So, you need an infrastructure that works.  And along with that infrastructure, you need people to manage it.  You need people to make it work.  Now, call it what you want, but a government by any other name is still government.  Regulation has been proven to work, and no regulation has been proven to bring things down.  The most recent financial collapse was a perfect example.  The government wasn’t watching the banks, and they did bad business practices because we also ignored the regulation to make sure they don’t get too big, hence the concept of “Too Big to Fail.”

But Libertarianism is a good thing for one reason – it allows us liberals and progessives to reevaluate why we believe what we believe, and why we will fight so hard to defend it.  But with the sudden and massive growth of this group, the question becomes, is it dangerous?  Is the ignorance that they display a genuine threat to this nation and its future.

Now that is something worth looking into.

Peace out,

Eli

America, it’s time to move on from 9/11

It is one of those things that needs to sometimes be said.  Sometimes, a person need to rise above the urge to be a part of a movement, to be a part of a system, and say what society, or a certain area of society, needs to hear.  And society, or at least American society, does need to hear this.  They need to hear this because every single area of this country is guilty.  America, you need to move on from 9/11.  Bad stuff happens all the time, but the fact is that this is not the worst thing that has ever happened anywhere.  It is a combination of laziness, egotism, and simple lack of concern that has made this great boogieman the enemy that it is today.

The first person to blame in all of this is the media.  They were to blame, they are to blame.  They are absolutely to blame.  The media and the fact that they are being completely lazy is very much to blame in how 9/11 has become the great source of talk that it is.  The media did something that it shouldn’t have done after 9/11.  It covered this to DEATH!  To this day, they are almost canonizing (in their own way), the people who did this crime.  Rather than ignoring.  Rather than treating this rationally, they decided to do what the modern news media seems to always do, and hype it up, sell it big.  They created another boogieman for the nation to fear.  Sensationalization has become the ultimate failing of the media.

And every year, they bring it up.  Again and again, like we just need to be told every tiny detail that happens.  Like we are just supposed to experience it all, again and again.  How are the families who suffered incidents like this not offended by this?  Why are they not more annoyed?  Every time the news decides that they can’t think of something new to talk about, the terrorists are the big topic.

The worst part about 9/11, as Richard Dreyfuss pointed out, was that we didn’t learn the right lessons from it.  Instead of being rational, we had an idiot Texan in office who decided to use it to fuel two power-hungry wars that have funneled over $1 trillion of the taxpayers’ money into them.  The military-industrial complex is the only area that has done well after all of this.

Then there are the people who believe that this is the worst disaster to ever happen ever, or even those who believe that this is the worst thing to happen in America, that more people have never died in another American incident.  Ever heard of the Civil War?  Thousands of people have died in a single day in that war!  Thousands of people die from drunk drivers every year.  People die from disease every year.  People die from smoking every year.  People die from cancer every year.  Now, those people dying was horrible, that’s the truth, but every single person who goes on spouting off about how this is the biggest tragedy in American history needs to shut their mouths!

It is actually kind of infuriating, because the rest of the world is suffering terrorism.  Some nations have bombings and attacks happen pretty much every day.  People in this country are so ethno-centric that we fail to realize that there is this whole big world out there that is filled with people who are dying, often in ways that are much worst than a building collapsing on top of you, getting crushed by a plane, or falling to your death.  When people of this country expect the rest of the world to pat us on the back and say how sorry they are, what kind of message does that send?!

It is a tragic thing that that happened, but as a rather foul-mouthed vlogger said, “get over it already!”  This is how it work – something bad happens, you mourn for a while, and then you move on.  It is the media and the government who is exploiting this to death.  My field, journalism, is given a worse and worse name because every single day, when they decide to drag this incident through the mud again, the people who actually lost somebody are being exploited.  This incident is becoming a lot like the Founding Fathers to conservatives – just something that they can mine and use and exploit, regardless of the facts.

America, move on!  We are not so special.  It is an unpopular opinion to have, but people need to have it.

Peace out,

Eli

RIP, John Skelley

It is kind of ironic, really – how you sometimes think that you are going to have plenty of time to get to know a person, and then you are suddenly out of time.  It leaves a kind of hollow feeling, like you didn’t do something right.  That is how I feel today, anyway.  I found out that somebody that I had barely known has died.  It wasn’t somebody who was epically important in my life, but I wish now I had taken a tad bit more time to get to know the guy.  I am not really sad, because as I said, I didn’t know the guy all that well, but I am sitting here wishing I had.

I don’t know who John Skelley was.  I don’t know what he was like.  He liked to read what I wrote, and was a left-leaning guy, which I liked.  I had issues with what was going on, because the newspaper has been horribly slow getting my paychecks to me.  I kind of feel bad because I once kind of called him out, only to find out that it was the fault of those who were in my newspaper office.  I never did get to apologize for that.  But yeah, I didn’t know anything of any real significance about the guy.

There are days when we all wish that we had taken more time to get to know a person.  There are people in our offices who are maybe not the most interesting of sorts.  We tell ourselves that we will take the time out to get to know them better.  We say that we will be able to get to know them later, that we will take the time out to do so later.  I have had that many times.  There were people that I thought would be interesting to get to know, and I miss my chance.  They disappear.

So now I will never get to see this person again.  I will never know who they were and what they are like.  I will say this much – I hope you had a good go of things, John.  I hope that whatever you did accomplish in your life, you were happy doing it.  I will never know much, if anything, about who you are, but I hope you made a good go of things.  You didn’t have to do great things, but I hope you just were able to enjoy what time you got.

I think this is a lesson to us all – that we should take the time out to get to know the people who we work with, and the people in our lives who often get overlooked.

Perhaps a quote should end this post –

Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.”  -W. Somerset Maugham

Rest in peace, John.

Peace out,

Eli

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