Some weeks, there’s just too much to talk about. With the world emerging from the pandemic paranoia and its attendant pitfalls, the return to some semblance of normalcy has created such a preponderance of stories, it’s hard to single out just one to discuss. So instead, I chose several.
- President Biden and “Vlad” Putin got together recently. Despite both suggesting that substantial progress was made in the ongoing effort to co-exist peacefully, I think the joint communique from the meeting could have read, “I’m watching you like a hawk,” and would have been dead-on accurate. Biden told Putin, “Don’t do that cyberattack stuff again,” and the Russian responded very Alfred E. Neuman-like with a “Who, me?” shrug. I’m not sure what the U.S. could do in response to further hacking, except perhaps figuring out a way to turn off the vodka spigot in Moscow and environs. That may work.
- Is anybody else just the least bit concerned that China now has not only its own Space Station orbiting the Earth, but three inhabitants aboard? Shoot, the Wuhan Wahoo that wreaked havoc on the world came from a research lab or a farmer’s market bat stall (or wherever current opinion places it) in the middle of the country. What kind of tests are they running up there? And what the heck might happen from orbit if some high-ranking Party official gets bent out of shape? No doubt the government will be as transparent with their space experiments as they’ve been about their Covid findings.
- The suggestion put forth during the presidential campaign last year to forgive student loans doesn’t seem to be dying a natural death. It seems there are those in office who still think wiping billions of dollars ($81 billion in Georgia alone according to one report) off the books is a great idea. Since that largesse would only pertain to those who currently have the debt but nary a penny would be given back to those who responsibly paid off their owed money, perhaps someone should look at the issue from another angle.
For example, why is there so much student debt to begin with? Maybe all institutions of higher learning should take a hard look inside their ballooning budgets. If I had to guess, I’d speculate the amount of fat in a typical university budget rivals only that of the U.S. government. Reports indicate that annual increases in tuition average about 8%. Do prices in your business go up 8% every year? And did you average an annual 8% increase in pay over the last decade or so? Just asking.
- Speaking of money, the state of Georgia apparently did quite well in the collections department over the last year. Reports indicate that when the budget year ends on June 30th, there will be a surplus of something north of $3 billion bucks in the bank. Surprise, surprise, many elected officials have suggested myriad ways to spend all that extra cash. Pet projects no doubt topped lists statewide.
Now surely some of the proposals for the excess cash may be of great import. Perhaps some infrastructure improvements or programs to help the disadvantaged. Maybe even put a bit away for a rainy day (such as a pandemic). What virtually no one has suggested is something that seems rather common sense-like to me. How about giving some of that money BACK to the taxpayers who paid it in the first place? That would be a novel idea. Shoot, after taking care of basic needs, we may even go out and buy something, thereby creating jobs, thereby creating more taxpayers, thereby generating an even bigger surplus next year.
- In case it has slipped your mind, the border crisis hasn’t gone away either. Ditto voting rights and police issues, not to mention critical race theory.
- But finally, the Atlanta Hawks. Up until this past weekend when the local roundballers advanced to the Conference championship round, there may well have been many casual observers of the sport who weren’t really quite sure the City actually has a for-real NBA team. No more speculation now. It’s virtually impossible to find a Hawk’s T-shirt or hat or jersey anywhere in town. And you know what? It’s kind of fun. People who formerly didn’t know a point guard from a polesitter now refer to Trae Young as Ice Trae. Fans in LA, New York, Chicago, Boston, and other environs might be used to this. It’s a pleasant eye-opener for those in the ATL.
And with all the other things happening in the world, the Hawks are providing a welcome relief.
©MMXXI. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer