By Joe Rector

My goodness, the past week has been a busy one for our country. Covid appears to be easing its two-year grip on the planet, and with just a little luck and without some new variant appearing, we might just return to a new kind of normal life. Just imagine how much quicker this terrible disease could have been wiped out if everyone had been vaccinated and boosted when the medicine first became available. Not to worry though, no matter how hard some work to make life better for the country, things occur that set us reeling and wondering what we’ll do.

Russia has decided to turn the world on its ear by surrounding Ukraine and setting the stage for an invasion. With that, NATO allies will give aid in the form of money and arms to help the country to defend itself. Attempts at diplomacy have failed, as most of us expected. Putin used supposed good-faith efforts to find a solution to his advantage. That riled up both sides while the dictator further set his troops and military hardware in place.

The US and its allies simply can’t let Putin bully his way through smaller, weaker countries in an effort to rebuild the U.S.S.R. He’s played our government and strung them along for years, not just since 2021. If democratic countries can’t stand firm, then authoritarians will take positions of power, and the great American experiment will be dead. I’m not ready for that to happen and hope other folks aren’t either.

Inflation is eating us up right now. Looking up to see gas rising by a dime every couple of days brings out fears, not of disease but of being able to pay the bills. Groceries are also skyrocketing, and the money we budgeted for each week doesn’t cover the expenses. I never thought I’d see that a pound of hamburger cost $5.00. Every product in every store is increasing in price, but store owners can’t be blamed for increases in their prices. I’ve heard all the problems about boats stacking up as they wait to unload their cargo. I just don’t believe that the gas supply is short. I do believe big oil companies are finding ways to stem the flow of oil or refining it. They’ve profited by $175 billion since these gas prices began climbing. Other companies are surely raking in huge profits as well.

I never was a fan of Nixon. I do give him credit for opening a dialogue with China. I appreciate what he did when gas was in short supply. The problems across the economy were so bad that the man froze prices. That gave Americans a bit of relief.

I’m tired of relying on other countries for our energy supplies. The time is now for us to develop new energy sources and to cut the cord connecting us to those places. We will turn our world into one that is no longer at the mercy of other countries, our economy will thrive as new energy is developed, and our climate will have at least a chance to heal as we switch from nasty oil to clean, efficient electricity or some other new product.

I worry about the future. Most of us in the Baby Boomer generation will be all right. Our lives will have ended before the world become an uninhabitable orb. I hope that when I am gone that I’ll have something to leave my children, but if we don’t figure out these problems, they will have lives worse than ours. It will take both political parties working together to solve the problems. Let’s hope they discover that they are elected to help the citizens of this country.