Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Pat Piper

    Who We Are (and Aren’t)

    By on October 11, 2021 in See It Here

    I’ve heard descriptions of our life right now as “concerning” and “divided” and too much “me vs you” instead of “us.” All are apt.

    This, of course, brings a number of observations:
    (1) If both the Republicans and Democrats are worried about the deficit, then why is there all this arguing about the deficit?
    (2) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t want any GOP members to vote yes to increase the debt because the Democrats are in control of both houses on Capitol Hill. Note to Mitch: The deficit was $19.9 trillion in 2017 when President Trump took office. In October 2020, the deficit was $27 billion. Anyone see a problem here?
    (3) There’s a lot of noise about mandates requiring vaccines before one can go to school or work for an airline or numerous other public places. The smallpox vaccine was required back in the 19th century. This is Number 1 in the Department of I Don’t F’ing Get It.
    I might add that department seems to be getting larger every day.

    Democracy and US and the U.S.

    By on September 13, 2021 in See It Here

    There’s been a lot of yelling and finger-pointing in 2021 which was preceded by the same in 2020, 2019 and, well, you get the idea.And we’ve had commissions to investigate who-did-what which have resulted in a lot of yelling and finger-pointing.

    Anyone see a trend here?

    Anyone wondering if this is the way it’s supposed to be?

    When I co-wrote “Future Talk” at the beginning of the millenium 21 years ago, I interviewed Ross Perot about the future of government, since he had some experience in trying to make it work. He cited a Scotsman named Fraser Tytler who has been linked to saying democracy has a lifespan of about 200 years before it blows up and starts again. Mr. Perot thought he could see this starting to happen.

    Tytler said every democracy has 8 stages:









    Granted, we see each of these every day but there can be no argument we’ve seen (and heard) a lot of noise about my rights vs. others (i.e. masks on airplanes, don’t need a vaccine-don’t believe the CDC-don’t believe vote totals). And there’s a lot of “I don’t care” as well as “the government owes me” this and that.

    Each of us should give some thought to trying to talk. It can work better than yelling. And it doesn’t require all caps to do.

    A Look Ahead by Looking Back

    By on August 6, 2021 in See It Here
    When you’re 68, the death of someone at age 72 is unnerving. AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka has died after a bout with heart disease. I interviewed him for the book “Future Talk” which was published in 1999 and looked at the coming new century.
    Sitting in his office just a few blocks from the White House, the union leader had this advice for anyone living in the new millennium:
    We will succeed or fail depending on whether we build a society with a vision, and that is something we are willing to commit to and work toward. And if you can’t do that, then we split up and become another Montana Freeman group where everybody opts out.
    The Montana Freeman group made news in 1996 when it decided the area near Jordan, Montana would be known as “Justus Township” and no longer be a part of the U.S.
    We have a lot of work to do and it begins with looking inside instead of pointing fingers.