One day last week it was so hot that I thought it might be August. We’ve already had too many of those hot, humid days that make excursions outside unpleasant. And mosquitos and ticks seem to be having a banner year as well.
All that kept me inside a few days. Quiet days at home offer an opportunity to reflect on what you might call “the human condition.” In my case, I lean towards the negative. I’m a worrier. A glass half-empty type guy. This being the case, it is often better to look forward rather than backwards. Often, I do so by asking myself questions.
This week, a few questions popped into my head. Some were quite serious. Others were not. And still others were “neutral,” not reflecting my political or social preferences but rather reflecting my personal interests.
Here are nine questions that I asked myself last week:
Is the pandemic really winding down? I read about the “Delta Variant” of the coronavirus that started in India and is now the dominant strain in the U.K. Is it coming here? If it does, will we take three steps back before taking another step forward?
Is Joe Biden doing a good job as president? Half the people I talk to say yes, often with enthusiasm. The other half don’t agree. They continue to tell me that Biden has dementia. (If the President’s occasional verbal lapses are solid evidence of dementia, I have it, too.) They suggest he is a puppet of either Kamala Harris or Jill Biden. This split in perspectives suggests that we don’t yet have a clear answer. Let’s wait and see if the economy continues to recover, whether inflation raises its ugly head, or whether Biden does something obviously wrong.
Are we in for a period of inflation? The big question seems to be whether inflation is coming and, if it does, how bad will it be. My personal guess is that we are in for higher inflation than the Fed or White House is willing to admit. I also fear that it will be difficult to slow down inflation if it takes root. Please note, I am not a professional economist. If you are and know the answer, please share it with the rest of us.
Why are there so many crazies serving in Congress right now? In answer to this one, let’s set aside Mr. Harris. (I hope the First District does this permanently in the next election.) Instead, let’s focus on other “colorful personalities” in Congress. Here’s a partial, bipartisan list: Matt Gaetz (accused sex trafficker), Paul Gosar (far-right dentist), Ilhan Omar (anti-Semite squad member), Lauren Boebert (gun nut), Louie Gohmert (forest service should change earth’s orbit), Jim Jordan (considered to be the most obnoxious member of Congress), Elizabeth Warren (many will disagree, but read all her “plans”), Steve Cohen (check out a few videos of his wildest House speeches on YouTube), and, of course fist-pumping Senator Josh Hawley and Cancun-visiting Ted Cruz. Let me stop there. Why can’t Americans send more sane people to Congress?
Are people really turning off Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN? The ratings of these and other news outlets I call “Opinion News” are down. President Trump was right—he was making them money by giving them someone to either cheer on or condemn each evening. Biden, by contrast is boring. Are people really switching to channels offering old episodes of Cheers, Mr. Ed, and Friends?
Is ex-president Trump really going insane? Some comment that he was already there a long time ago, but what about those reports of him crashing weddings at Mar-a-Lago, wearing his pants backwards (he wasn’t, but it sure looked like it), and suggesting that he will be “reinstated” as President later this summer? Is the Trump era over? If it is, why are most Hill Republicans still loyal to him?
Why are people quitting their jobs or thinking about it? This has been in the news the last few days. It appears that some people who have been working from home for the last year don’t want to go back to an office. Instead, they want a new job. I’d say “good luck” to that but am at a loss as to the thought process of quitting a job when unemployment remains high, and the economy overall remains unsteady.
Is the federal government about to disclose that, yes, earth has been visited by aliens? This question arises out of the recent flurry of UFO sightings. I saw one the other day in Talbot County, but it was “unidentified” only to me. It was a military jet on what appeared to be a joy ride over the Chesapeake Bay. How will we react if reports of UFOs prove to be true? Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode where friendly aliens come to earth and offer earthlings free trips to their home planet? The episode ends with scientists translating a book one of the aliens was carrying around which turns out to be a cookbook!
I hope the weather improves this week so that I can get outside, ride my bike, kayak, or do something other than engage in idle speculation. Wish me luck.
J.E. Dean of Oxford is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, birds, and occasionally goldendoodles.