Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen et al. Wow, just wow. What is going on in these countries is amazing. When you think about it, whatever their motives, whether really wanting to govern themselves in an honest way, or just wanting to establish theocracies, the people of these countries are incredibly bold and brave. They ran a distinct risk in their demonstrating--they could have lost everything, including their lives. I pray that they can make their changes without a blood bath or a looting orgy. Particularly for the oil producing countries--they must keep their oil harvesting infrastructure intact to have a chance of success in the world. They need to retain the places their countries have in the world economy, both for their and the world's sakes. Whether this happens or not is why all this unrest abroad has everyone very nervous. Unfortunately, those nervous people include oil speculators, who have seen fit to cause the price of oil to rise, and with that the price of gasoline (and everything else.)
Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and union bargaining rights. I just don't know. States have to balance their budgets--they can't print money like the Federal government. One place they can save is to have workers pick up more of the costs of their bennies like health insurance and retirement. Unions have lost more and more of their influence over the years. Many things the unions won in the old days have become institutionalized in the government laws--OSHA, labor hour rules, discrimination, etc. Yet in many ways the American worker needs an ally as employers have been empowered by the surplus of labor. Employers rarely function in "enlightened self interest" any more and chop employees ruthlessly when profits are in danger.
Kansas City elections in a mere 21 days, with E tax vote in 35 days. It was truly amazing to look at that old campaign flyer from 2007 and think of all the water that has passed under the bridge since then. I think for the first time I feel the burden of electoral choice, knowing that our choices will influence the course of what happens to our city for the next four years. As turbulent as the world is, it becomes even more imperative to choose wisely. Are the 15-20% of KCMO registered voters up to the task? As to the E tax, I hear the people saying let's cut City Hall's money supply and make them tighten up their act--starve the grifters and hangers-on. Yet I look at my property tax bill and worry that it will go up at least 50%, making it even harder to pay. I don't want cuts in fire and I especially don't want cuts in police--if we have any hope of dealing with the crime issue in our town in a good way.
In addition, there is stuff in my personal life that is fairly overwhelming, both good stuff and problematic stuff. So is it any wonder that sometimes I find it a bit hard to find some space to think? That I take time out to pray and meditate regularly, and have some fun with sports? That my spiritual life and faith community is more important than ever?