A few Boxing Day observations:
New Englanders are always complaining about their high electricity rates even as they let frenzied and often well financed and affluent not-in-my-backyard folks keep out the additional natural-gas pipelines, hydro-power, wind power, nuclear and even solar power that would bring down those rates and diversify their power sources so they aren't so vulnerable to one power source's price and supply gyrations.
As a nifty series in The Wall Street Journal implies, you could expand healthcare if you really went after the physicians and other providers who are defrauding Medicare by many billions of dollars a year.
Donald Hall's latest book, Essays After Eighty, is well worth buying. The New Hampshire-based poet/essayist's take on aging is good medicine for all of us rapidly heading toward, or already in, old age.
As for me, I'll repeat the observation of other old people that the best thing about being elderly is being able to easily say no to requests to do something you really don't want to do but may have felt compelled to do by a sense of duty or the desire to be liked, or at least not disliked. Those concerns fall off like a snake shedding its skin.
And both those who liked you and disliked you disappear from the scene at an accelerating rate.
It's sad to know that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now a kleptocratic, narcissistic, bigoted and anti-women dictator who is installing a police state. Turkey is a member of NATO but it's hard to know how long that can continue, since, in principle anyway, NATO members are supposed to be democracies. Erdogan is also cozying up to fellow dictator Vladimir Putin.
Erdogan, increasingly pathological in his lies, will presumably continue to use state apparatus to squelch dissent, and, like, Putin play the xenophobia card, as would any good demagogue.
--- R0bert Whitcomb