In composing this year’s Rumack’s Review, I sat back to contemplate what transpired during the year. In early November, the maple tree I look at when writing had already shed its leaves – whereas last year at this time this same tree’s leaves had only started changing colour. Hopefully this is not a harbinger of a long cold winter to come.
For me, the year “flew by” – it feels like we just rang in 2018. Increasingly we learn of new manufacturing methods, medical discoveries, and technologies (such as driverless cars and other modes of transportation). Just as medieval times gave way to the Industrial Revolution, so in this Modern Era we experience life-changing processes, most of which are positive. But there have been some negative effects as well.
Our ability to grow and manufacture food products has been exponential, but can we still produce the amount of food required to feed the planet’s uncontrolled growth of humanity? Is the ever-expanding opportunity for employment and business options slowing down? Are we reaching a plateau for mankind’s average life expectancy?
Although medicine continues to evolve – through the discovery of new drugs, ground-breaking research, and improved delivery of services – we still have not managed to defeat Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. We must continue to support research to eliminate these diseases, but are there other factors working at cross-purposes? And do pharmaceutical companies, medical disease fundraising organizations – not to mention their employees – benefit if these diseases are actually eradicated?
Unfortunately, in my opinion, the world continues to be a more difficult place in which to live. Looking back at some of my previous newsletters, we still have major problems involving climate, the environment, the economy, social justice issues, and food and water shortages, all of which are influenced by a lack of tolerance amongst mankind. In turn, this prompts political, religious and racial intolerance, and ruthless economic competition.
As citizens of the world, we must all strive to set aside our own differences, work together, and aim to be better human beings!
THE WORLD TODAY
The world today is in a significant state of upheaval. We have Mr. Putin in Russia watching the world unfold. He does what he wants to do with no repercussions; for instance, his annexation of the portion of the Ukraine; his open involvement in the Syrian Civil War; and his many other activities and involvement which we are not aware of! Britain is still on course to withdraw from the European Union – at what cost to Britain and to the European Union?
The reintroduction of more autocratic governmental systems in Turkey, Hungary, and Poland comes at the expense of less democracy. Some European countries are no longer capable of dealing with the significant number of people fleeing from their homelands in the Middle East and Africa. Look at the social upheaval in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and now Central America, with the convoys of human beings attempting to enter the United States of America. What is actually happening with North Korea and South Korea — is there a real rapprochement between these mortal enemies? What is happening (if anything) with North Korea and the United States? If anyone has “insider information”, please share this with all of us!
THE “GOOD” OLD USA
Lastly, the United States, where the mid-term election results have finally been determined. There was a contested recount in Florida, and allegations of voting irregularities in Georgia. As many predicted, this election resulted in the Democrats successfully gaining a majority in the House of Representatives, while the Republicans unexpectedly increased their majority in the Senate. The President subsequently indicated that he would start looking into background matters concerning former U.S. Presidents – Clinton, both Bushes, Obama, and of course former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton – who knows what else, and for what reason?
We know the President verbalizes and tweets whatever he is thinking at any time – even in the middle of the night. He has sent the U.S. military to the Mexico-U.S. border to stop the caravan of people who want to enter the United States. To be accurate, Mr. Trump has verbalized that he wants to stop any illegal immigration. He has fired his Attorney General which most people believed he would do at some stage. His Secretary of Defense has unexpectedly resigned because he did not agree with the President’s directive to withdraw the American troops from Syria.
What will happen next with the President and the United States, how the U.S. will interact with Canada, China, Russia, and the rest of the world? No one knows. Hang on for the ride.