Our Twentieth Year

I was watching the final episode of the limited television series on HBO, Years and Years, which traced the happenings in the Lyons’ family in the United Kingdom from the point of a nuclear bomb being detonated on a Chinese island until 2034.  It is an excellent dramatic program looking at what might happen after such an awful event, in the near future, after the happening.

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The grandmother of the family comments at a family event at the conclusion of the series that, paraphrasing her words, that this century had been a hard one….look what had happened in 12.000 days!  She went on to reflect on her feelings on New Year’s Eve of 1999 and how she thought that we have made it…the west had done alright for its self…and then the clowns started rolling out!

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Well, we are in our 20th year…when you count the year 2000.  I remember sitting in my little home in Elkville, Illinois and watching ABC newscaster Peter Jennings ring in the new century.

Then there was Bush versus Gore and we had doubts as to the integrity of our presidential election?

Then came 9/11…and we saw planes piloted by madmen fly into both of the World Trade Center buildings in New York city as well as the Pentagon and the loss of life that we experienced on our soil was unprecedented!

We have been at war in Afghanistan since 2001 the longest war in or history!

‘United States military casualties in the in the War in Afghanistan.  As of July 27, 2018, there have been 2,372 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan.  20,320 American service-members have also been wounded in action during the war.’    Wikipedia

The War in Iraq lasted from 2003 – 2009 with the re-involvement in 2014.

‘As of June 29, 2016 according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,240 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action as a result of the Iraq War.’    Wikipedia

A junior Senator from Illinois, Barrack Obama, was elected president of the United States.  Whether you liked him or not the election of the first African American to the presidency was unprecedented!  During the eight years of his presidency there was not one scandal laid at his doorstep!

On Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday, in 2001 I was enjoying our limited internet functionality at my desk that was placed in a corner of our crowded living room.  I was watching a clip from the movie Fargo and it stopped often to buffer!  Suddenly I heard a knock on our door..and it was 11: P:M:…and there were two Jackson County Sheriff Deputies to tell me that my Step-father, Earl, had been rushed to  Deaconess hospital in Evansville, Indiana after an apparent heart attack.  I immediately telephoned my mom, who suffered from Alzheimers disease, and told her that we were on our way.  Three days later Earl passed away and mom came to live with us in our four room house.

Two months after mom coming to live with us we moved to Carbondale in order to have enough room to keep her.  The stress of having to sell two homes and negotiating the purchase of a new home in Carbondale while caring for my dear mom, who could not be left alone, was a bitter/sweet introduction to the new century!

We have a presidential election coming up next year…2020!  It is universally agreed that the Russians and their leader, Vladimir Putin, actively interfered with our last presidential election and all 17 Intelligence Agencies assure us that Russia has every intention to do it again!

Mary Jane and I have been retired since the end of 2010 and February of 2011.  Our time has been lovely in many ways…including much joyful travel and four trips to Europe.  It has also been challenging with health concerns and the vagaries of getting older.

With the complete agreement of the intelligence experts as to Russia’s involvement and their success in influencing our presidential elections…Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a measure in the Senate to beef up our security at the ballot box for the up-coming elections?

President Trump told reporters in a joint news conference with Russian president Putin that although his head of Intelligence, Dan Coats, had told him that he believed that Russia was involved in interference in our presidential elections….that when we asked Putin…he assured him that he was not interfering and Trump added that his assertion was very powerful and strong!  He went on to comment that he did not know why Russia would be involved.

Director Coats is being replaced by a Republican partisan firebrand that supports many if not all of the president’s conspiracy theories!

Our world is more uneasy and nervous and afraid that I have ever witnessed!  For much of my life we spoke of Democrats and Republicans and Moderates and understood that each agreed on many fundamental principles of governing.  I considered myself a Republican for many years!  But now…it is ‘Thunder-dome!’

Nativism and xenophobia and prejudice and bias and misogyny…are either praised or at the least…no one who understands the wrong in these actions…has the political will…or the, ‘balls’ to speak out against evil!

When money and position and power and place is the be all and end all of existence on our planet…woe unto us!  When politicians speak nationally and, in reality, are speaking to an audience of one, our government can equate itself to the last days of the Roman Empire!

In the fictional TV show, Years and Years, immigrants in the United Kingdom were, ‘Disappeared,’ into camps where they were left to die.

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The nuclear bombing of he Chinese island was, according to the writers of the telecast, done by president Trump during his last day in office.

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I wonder what our country will look like in 2034?

 

Photos of Years and Years courtesy of Google.

 

 

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