Hall of Fame Linebacker. Dick Butkus was born on December 9, 1942. At birth he weighed 13 lbs. 6 oz. He died this week. He always had a special place in my heart because I was born on December 9, 1942. I weighed considerably less than 13 lbs.
He had a great career in pro football as the middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears. He acted and was in the public eye in many other ways. I read a very clever article on him that highlighted several fun quotes. My favorite was a player who said “Dick Butkus scares me, and I’m on his team.”
War. I have found the Hamas invasion of Israel to be an opportunity for misinformation. Please be careful about the accuracy of what is shared.
It would be nice to be able to discuss any problems with Israel’s treatment of some Palestinians at the same time condemning the despicable Hamas invasion. Unfortunately, in our times, most people are not able to address issues with distinctions about pluses and problems on both sides of an issue. The extremes dominate conversation.
The failure of Israel Intelligence to have a forewarning of an attack on the scale of this attack is surprising to me and should be a lesson for all Americans.
Inflation. Last week I expressed concern about border security. Interestingly, this week the Biden administration announced it is going to start building more of the border wall. President Biden said he legally had no choice. He asked for the appropriated funds to be redirected but Congress would not make the change. However, he did waive several environmental regulations in order to resume construction.
My concern this week is for inflation. I asked our son Shane, what are some major factors in inflation?
The first factor is the price of oil. He said the research shows that before recessions in recent years, typically a spike in oil prices occurred. The Saudi’s have the major control of that factor.
Many people believe Joe Biden is responsible because they believe Trump made us energy independent and Joe Biden has made us energy dependent. I found an extremely thoughtful analysis in Forbes that makes it clear to me the energy analysis is much more complicated than Trump vs. Biden. I found it to be an excellent article and I do not think of Forbes as having a left-wing bias. I highly recommend the article if you want to be well-informed.
The second factor in the struggle with inflation is the Federal Reserve System. A zero or near zero interest rate contributed to inflation. The Fed is not under the control of the president. Joe Biden is not responsible for this factor. The current Secretary of the Treasury is Janet Yelen. Previously, she was the chairperson of the Fed. Clearly the Fed was influenced by a Democrat in recent years.
The third factor is “free money.” “Free money” adds to inflation. Both presidents Biden and Trump in conjunction with congress gave several trillion dollars in “free money” for the pandemic stimulus during the COVID crisis. In that regard all three had some responsibility for inflation.
Joe Biden has forgiven student loans to the tune of over 9 billion dollars. The forgiveness creates “free money.” In that regard the president has some direct responsibility for inflation.
I put free money in quotes. Free money is not free. If borrowed money is forgiven, some one else has to pay the bill.
A fourth factor was the infrastucture program. The program had positive benefits to the economy and to our quality of life, but required the government to borrow more money and go further in debt. The latter is a factor in inflation.
Inflation is a complicated issue and needs to be addressed by statesmen and women engaging in dialog. Congress has few statesmen or women interested in dialog. A recent Gallup poll reported most Americans are dissatisfied with performance by Congress and disgusted with both parties.
PS. Last week we had a reunion of several women who were with us in our Illinois State University fellowship. Several of them we had not seen for 40 years, The time was splendid, a special memory. I was very impressed by the strength, love, intelligence, faith and good humor present in the group. For those readers who were at ISU, have some fun and see if you can match maiden names and pictures: Sharon Artrip, Cathy Botalla, Jackie Collesi, Pam Himstedt, Marilyn Klansek, Eenie Sheets, Laura Williams.