Rubbernecking the world’s woes ruins my retirement

ACHTUNG: The following is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

“There ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.” — The Supremes, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

“Nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care.” — Comedian George Carlin.

These two quotations may best describe my personal experience with retirement (excepting Georges Santayana’s iconic “Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”)

I was told a long time ago that if you work hard and are frugal with your money, eventually your Golden Years will be just that. They’re not, but that’s because I feel helpless and powerless as I sit and watch everything go to hell in a handbasket. I feel like I’m rubbernecking, watching a lot of death and destruction, just like a motorist passing by a fatal traffic crash.

It is futile to speak up.

“Watch what you say, they’ll be calling you a radical…” — Supertramp. “The Logical Song,”1979.

I feel like we’ve been fiddlin’ as the world burns.

There are too many alarming developments in these perilous times:

  • Climate change — I’m sick and tired of being called the equivalent of Chicken Little for insisting we collectively do something about human caused natural catastrophes that seem to keep piling up. How many more instances do we need before we act?

The West is burning, the East and Gulf Coasts are being pummeled with hurricanes, rainstorms and flooding. Even Siberia is hot.

We’re told we can’t do anything because China, India and Russia won’t. The consequences are looking more and more like the extinction of human beings.

  • The Covid pandemic — Eerily similar to climate change except that we have been lucky enough to have discovered something to beat this vile virus, but too many of us refuse to use the vaccine. The naysayers say it’s their choice, their freedom, ignoring that this tiny enemy spreads among us as a result of their “choices.”

The United States has the poorest record in handling Covid-19 because too many have regarded it as a political rather than public health issue. They choose “freedom” over life.

As of July 1 this year, many of us believed we finally had this viral scourge on the run… but no!

When I was a child, I suffered through three polio vaccines administered to all in my school without any objections that we knew about. There are many more instances of vaccines wiping out or severely reducing deadly diseases.

  • Assault weapons — Why anyone needs to own a gun or rifle that kills a lot of people in a very short time challenges rational thinking and arouses suspicion about the owner’s intentions.

To be sure, eradicating gun violence, which seems to dominate daily stories, even locally, is a daunting task, but I firmly believe resurrecting the assault weapons ban and implementing background checks at least would be a start.

As someone eloquently said a few years ago, the fact we collectively did nothing after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in 2012 shows that we’re just letting it happen.

  • The wealth gap — We’ve been told for the last 40 years (since the start of the Reagan Revolution) that cutting taxes on the rich will be good for our country’s economy and a rising tide lifts all boats. The last example of that thinking was the tax cut for the rich and corporations in 2017.

The results always have been the same. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Why do we collectively continue to just sit back and let it happen?

It is amazing that the poorest rural people continue to support policies that run counter to their own economic interests. They still elect these politicians who are beneficiaries of a system of legalized bribery. The wealthy have benefitted and want to keep things just the way they are. And they have the power to do so.

The reasons can be summed up in the genius of Republican Party propaganda strategy from the late 1970s — “God, guns, guts, gays and abortion.” The Culture Wars have served the GOP well as it continues to circle the drain of totalitarianism.

And here I sit in my Golden Years, only able to watch the country I don’t recognize and once loved travel down the road to perdition.

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams



  • David, I hadn’t read the John Adams quote before, but he seems to have got it right. I DO feel like we’re watching the country commit suicide, and we can’t seem to talk it off the ledge.

    • Wrong again, from observation and following the stories from the media on the terrorist that tried to kidnap the governor to the terrorist at the capital which by the way 68% of them and I’m sure the one’s here in Michigan all have or have seen someone for mental health issues, and I figured out when you see that DTOM flag it’s a good indicator that this person is on that list.

      • I am a veteran and patriot. I belong to no associations, groups or parties. Can you claim the same, especially ever being a veteran?

        You are a diehard Democrat, which nowadays is pretty much Marxist.

        I’m a conservative. I’m everything you’re not. Never have been, never will be.

        • What does having to be a veteran do with all the crap you respond to? It sounds like to me you struggle with anger issue, and no, I’m not a veteran, but there are plenty of them that are, including my family members who believe in the democratic values and Democratic party, the problem is with someone like you you’ve swallowed up all the BS the big corporations that fund your party and the subliminal messages they’ve mastered over 40 years. And if there’s any one who can’t tell what took place over the last four years, definitely doesn’t know the difference between fascism and democracy. But thank for your service.

          • Your expert BS: that big business is the realm of Republicans. You may want to see who contributed and supported Obama and Biden. It sure wasn’t common people giving $5-$10. The Democrat Party has been hijacked by Marxists (BLM, Antifa, the Squad, China lovers, Climate changers, 2nd A rights haters, and southern invaders).
            Open your eyes before it is too late.

        • Being a veteran is honorable. Thank you. It does not give you the right to demean any body who does not agree with you. It’s funny that according to you all Democrats are Marxists. But the Republicans can be anything libs cons. For not belonging to any party, you sure kiss Donny’s butt a lot. You are everything I do not want to be.

          • Mr. Longstreet, Mr. Bergeron:
            Your distaste/hate for President Trump is illogical at best or ignorance at worst. When he was president:

            Gas was $1.87 gal.

            NATO was finally paying its fair share for our defense forces.

            China, Russia, N. Korea, Taliban had respect for the president.

            We were #1 in energy production.

            Southern border was under control and wall being erected.

            No inflation.

            Pipeline was being started.

            Then dementia Joe snuck into office with Marxist Kamala and all that went away.

            You tell me, who was/is better for America?

            Mr Bergeron, I am angry. The U.S. is being turned into a third rate country. Hard working, taxpaying citizens are squeezed by inflation and Covid regulations, the country is being invaded, and those like Antifa and BLM hate our country, history (warts and all) and customs.

            Where is the chaos? In Democrat-run cities. The Democrat Party has nobody at the helm with sense or cognitive abilities. We have 3.5 years left of this disaster scene to go before any possible change. You aren’t worried with what you see every day? Maybe you agree with what you voted for.

            Knowing now what has transpired so far with Biden, are you happy? You love your party more than your country.

  • I suppose John Adams wasn’t lying when he said “There never was a democracy yet..”.
    Because there really were none except the US prior to 1800.
    So was he just full of it and trying to sound important (like a politician)?
    Was he speaking of his own country that was only about 25 yrs old?

    At that time no one person would have any information about how long a democracy would or would not last. There wasn’t any history yet to back it up.

    So its more likely that John Adams was distraught because his party (The Federalist Party) was collapsing during his tenure as president. Things Just weren’t going his way, the people weren’t having it, and he was whining about it. The Federalists being the “we the government” party was about to be ousted by the “we the people” party and Thomas Jefferson.

    There is something prophetic though in ” it..wastes, exhausts, and murders itself…” isn’t there.
    That’s a great description of the continuing decline of any big city in a “blue” state.

  • Must be a slow day in the journalism business. Seems you run the same narrative every other month. Maybe you or AZ or maybe 2030 could write about all the accomplishments that President Joe Biden has succeeded with so far in his early tenure………..However I will play your silly game, once again………..

    “They choose “freedom” over life.”

    Over 600,000 abortions just last year (and previous years as well), tell me we care about life all of a sudden………..joke

    “Assault weapons”

    Please define this weapon………..

    “Covid 19 Vaccine”

    Prove that it prevents Covid 19……….Additionally prove is has not taken lives and is perfectly safe…….


  • The editor may want to read about the Vostok ice samples. He would then learn that global warming and cooling has gone on long before man created the internal combustion engine. In fact it is climate change that created fossil fuels. I know that’s an Inconvenient Truth.

    Regarding firearms,it is the liberal hellhole strongholds where most gun crimes are commited,figure that one out. It’s the hellhole cities controlled by Democrats like Detroit,Chicago,DC and other disastrous liberal cities. Food for thought next time you want to write BS.

  • Another bunch of liberal propaganda. But we should not be surprised. Poor rural people….. yes they dont care for leftists like Barack Hussian Obama destroying their livelihood, such as the coal industry. All while he and Al Gore, another hypocrite, fly on their private jets. You really need to find some concrete arguements for your Ilk.

  • Thank you for the lovely article. My only critique is to add some positive spin at the end. In your retirement, it must be possible to adapt to all of this and find something hopeful. For example, how is your garden or are you learning to cook or your family and friends and spending time on any of these.
    Hey, the world keeps a turning and every moment is about living. So, maybe see the world burning and decide to toast some marshmallows. It would help you and me if you could add that in as well. Thanks again and I hope peace and grace for you and yours. 🙂

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