Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer

Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer
They sent me here just to watch...

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Have we triaged the Republic so soon?

Quarantine, flatten the curve, social distance, and even washing your hands make for news these days.  In months where we normally would have been talking March Madness, the opening day of baseball season, graduation ceremonies, and summer vacations; we are swamped with medical terms and approaches to living.

M9 or M95 masks?  Images of ventilators and respirators and antigen testing devices bounce around in my head.  Social distancing has put social media on steroids and now we are all medical experts.

Amidst the medical jargon that abounds, I wish to voice a concern that the Republic seems to have been triaged to the expected category.  Yes, I know there are new terms, but I will stick with the original for not expected to survive.

The fatalities in establishing and preserving this Grand Experiment called America must not be left out of the discussion consumed by the fear of a single contagion.  Let us not dismiss so quickly the price paid for the liberties that we know.

Let’s not throw it all away for fear of one of the many things in life that could kill us, but probably won’t.  I am not ready to put the Republic on morphine and call the chaplain over just yet.

Friday, May 1, 2020

CBA for COVID-19

For any endeavor of this sort begun at this stage, the words more to follow are essential.  This is a snapshot of our current situation that hopes to provoke further thought on what has happened and will likely happen.

It is a provocation to bring forth thinking and analysis not to assign blame.  Some are not equipped for such a process and are advised to rant elsewhere.

But the time is upon us to analyze what the past few months have cost us and what benefits we as a nation received.  Well-considered thoughts are welcomed in the comments in the hopes of advancing this dialogue.


Shut down much of the economy

Incredible unemployment

Major medical procedures and doctor visits canceled (or postponed) in large numbers

Reward for not working

Suspension of Constitutional liberties

Fear expanded rapidly on a large scale

Incredible spending on COVID-19 expenses

Incredible spending on expenses not related to COVID-19 but tied to expenditure measures

Essential service workers exposed at higher risk

Leveraging of national emergency for political advantage

Further exploration of national liberties to be suspended beyond the authority of the government

Loss of major events of social importance (graduations, proms, baccalaureates)

Educational structure lost or required modification

We saw the worst of people (hoarding) and government (overstepping authority)


Kept contagion from exceeding national and regional hospital capacity

Saved many lives compared against predictive and stochastic models

Increased awareness and practice of hygiene measures

Contagion slowed (perhaps reduced) by social distancing

Many people had more family time

Creativity employed to continue education

We saw the best of people (generosity and helping) and of government (incredible logistics)


Many practices of 2020 are not sustainable

Fear has too much of a grip on people in this age

Hygiene and distancing practices must be devised that permit continuation of commerce, liberty, and the republic that retains the idea that power emanates from the people

A declared emergency of this magnitude must not become commonplace

Constitutional authority usurped by the government at any level is returned to the people in smaller measures and presented as a new normal.  All must be on the lookout for subtle reductions in liberty

The press must return to its role as the watchdog of government, taking no sides on issues or personalities, reporting with integrity across the board

People must be able to trust the media again.

Distancing technology will likely become more commonplace

Balancing the role of government in promoting the general welfare and restricting the role of government to those powers granted it by the people (via the Constitution of the United States) must be a real dialogue in the year ahead.