Reflections by Phil Ellenberger

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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Oct 17 - 0 Comments

What can I say? This past month or so has been a real bummer. Hurricanes, one right after another. Each one doing what hurricanes do. Harvey, Irma and Maria have been particularly effective Politicians argue about everything, especially if it is not important (that is what they do best). And of course the guy in Las Vegas lost his marbles.

As this is being written there are wild fires blazing in California wine counties. Buildings are being destroyed. People are dying. There are messes galore.

That all leaves us with a whole lot to talk about, and yet, when you think about it nothing to say. Of course there is the usual “Oh My God” or “that is dreadful” and many other similar voicings of horror or empathy. Each heartfelt, but none erasing the damage or bringing back the dead or wounded. Perhaps the best thing to do is carry on. In fact that is the only thing we can really do.

Do is the operative word. That means take action. I note that many of the so-called solutions have been talked about before. Some are overused talking points.

History as well as BS repeats itself quite often. Those of us who read history know that. Those of us who listen to politicians also know that. I point to the first sentence of the previous paragraph.

Some of us older folks remember the ad that said “it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.” That is true. However, it is also true that we must be proactive rather than conduct blame-athons where we just blame the other people for not doing anything.

It goes without saying that any action will cost money. It is rather sad to notice that after a disaster there isn’t much argument about fixing the damaged things. However, it is almost a miracle when we decide to fix things before the storm or damage.

I recall my boss always claiming that it was always less expensive to do things right the first time. That was because when you did them wrong, you quite often had to do them over, thus raising the cost.

The main point is that it is not necessarily a good thing to wait until something goes wrong. We have all read stories about the devastation and costs of doing so many things and we almost intuitively know that the cost of preventing things is less than letting them break and fixing them.

Most political arguments are about what is the first priority. I would suggest that for most politicians the first priority is to get elected rather than fix the things that need fixing. It is our job as voters to elect the ones that believe in the “fix things” rather than “get reelected” action. That is hard, because even though actions speaker louder than words, when they talk their mouths do move.

Wish us luck; times are troubling to say the least.

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