by joe courter
The clichéd expression about living in interesting times has been in my head recently. These times certainly are interesting, full of highs (some) and lows (a lot) as things have been playing out.
The horribly predictable election results followed the historical trends nationally, as the 6th-year election of a two-term President is usually pretty dismal for their Party, but this one sunk lower with the rather horrid lack of fight over principles such as preserving Social Security exhibited by the Democrats. The type of folks who can afford to run for office, the consultants they hire, and the media happy with the system that enriches them leaves us with depressing choices for the most part, especially higher office. However, our little blue dot of a county ran strong though, so yay for that, and Medical Marijuana showed strong support at nearly 58 percent statewide. Let’s see if there is courage in the legislature; so many people will benefit so much. I got to see something for the first time in late October, and that was a very visible International Space Station pass overhead with the evening sun lighting it up brighter than any star, traveling from NW to SE, at a pace not that different than what an airplane appears to fly, but in actuality going about 17,500 MPH!! Couple that with the landing of a European space probe name Philae on a comet (!) named 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and you have just marveled at what humans can do. Both of these, for me, are real highs. But these same humans can also create some horrendous devices, practice barbaric acts on each other, and choose to deny or ignore science and empathy in favor of superstition, vengeance, and greed. When the space program sent craft to the moon decades ago, one of the bonuses was the pictures of our beautiful planet; browns, blues, white and greens, demarked not with artificial lines but rivers, mountains and coastlines. And now with the Cassini spacecraft, Earth can be seen as a dot of light as seen from beyond the rings of Saturn.