For the past two months, I’ve been writing in this column about the financial pit that we are digging for ourselves as a country. At least, that’s one way of looking at the trillions of dollars of expanding deficits embedded in our federal and state government budgets.
In last month’s column, I started to lay out some generally well-known facts in hopes they can facilitate an important discussion that I feel Americans need to be having with each other.
Perhaps because so many readers have recently told me how much they’ve enjoyed my recent columns, I’ve decided to risk spending some of that capital this month by sharing a number of statistics that I think paint a rather troubling picture and lead to some controversial conclusions.
Editor’s note: Just five months ago, my dear father passed away at the age of 93. In this space in the April Beacon, I ran the eulogy that I gave at his funeral. Little did we know that the stubborn cough my Mom had at Dad’s funeral was apparently the same pneumonia that he died of, and she recently succumbed to it and its complications as well.
From two brothers reuniting to co-author a novel to a former newspaper publisher recounting her career during the turbulent ‘60s, budding authors have been finding it easier to break into print over the last decade. While it’s harder than ever to make it out of the “slush pile” in traditional publishing houses these days, a revolution in self-publishing means that with a relatively small investment, authors can share their carefully crafted words with the world at large.
Expressing awe at anything nowadays makes one appear to be a simpleton, or at the very least, uncool. Of course, my children and their friends say “awesome” at almost any expression of good fortune. But I still think true awe — expressing amazement, wonder or astonishment at something — is a sentiment we are expected to keep under wraps, in favor of a more contemporary blasé attitude.
When I was in high school, in the early 1970s, the comic strip “Peanuts” was deeply into the “Happiness is...” craze, which, I think, its creator Charles Schulz may have launched.
There was a time we spoke about our “right to privacy” or our “reasonable expectation of privacy” as though we understood what those phrases meant. It was a given of American values that every individual had a fundamental right to be left alone to pursue his or her own form of happiness as long as the rights of others were respected.
Those of you who have been reading my monthly column for a few years know that I occasionally write about my parents’ experiences with healthcare, finances, moving and the like. You also know that my father, may he rest in peace, died a few weeks ago, just shy of his 94th birthday, and that my 84-year-old mother has moved to this area from Texas to be near my brother and me.
Editor’s note: Some readers may remember my columns about my parents’ transition to assisted living. I am sad to say that my father, Leonard Rosenthal, passed away in Austin, Texas, on March 5. This month, in lieu of my usual column, I would like to share the tribute I gave at his funeral.