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How We Got HereJerry West Salem-News.com
One can not help but wonder...
(GOLD RIVER, B.C.) - It is amusing to watch the never ending battle of opinions, often devoid of all but the tiniest sliver of fact, if that, in the political arena in the US and Canada. It is particularly entertaining when observing the scene in the United States where fantasies and off the wall ideas seem to be a staple in political discourse between the major parties and groups like the Tea Party.
So much of what is said and taken for gospel by one side or the other appears myopic as if people only pay attention to those parts of history that they find favourable while ignoring the rest. One might reasonably conclude that many do not pay any attention to history at all aside from the spin that they pick up that is created to push one view or another.
Talk about budgets, debt, deficit or all of the above and each side cherry picks their facts to blame the other for the problems that we have to deal with. Talk about security, foreign affairs, human rights, you name it, the story is the same. The contrasting views of each side makes one wonder if there isn't completely separate realities for each. The fact is that neither reality may reflect accurately how our world got to be what it is today.
From my studies, and admittedly in my opinion, what follows is a list of a few things that happened over the past 110 years, in more or less chronological order, that have had a major impact on shaping our world. Though the fault for many of these is shared by a number of countries, the US political parties supporting them are listed to show that everyone's hands are dirty.
One can not help but wonder what the world would be like today had the powers behind these decisions made different, more far sighted choices instead of ones based on protecting national advantage and an economic system built on exploitation. One also wonders what the world could be like tomorrow if society spent more time on examining its history beyond the slogans and abbreviated accountings of the past to understand in more depth the consequences of prior decisions and how many of the problems that we face today are a result of what was done previously.
Jerry West grew up on a farm in Fresno County, California, and served with the US Marine Corps from 1965 to 1970 including 19 months in Vietnam with the Third Marine Division, and three years at MCAS Iwakuni where he became an anti-war organizer in 1970. He earned an Honors Degree in History at the University of California, Berkeley, and did two years of graduate study there. While in university he worked seasonally in fire and law enforcement with the US Forest Service.
After university he worked for a number of years in the international tour industry in operations and management before moving to a remote village on the west coast of Vancouver Island where he is currently the editor and publisher of The Record newspaper serving the Nootka Sound region. He is a Past President of the Northern California Land Trust, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
You can email Jerry West, Salem-News.com Writer, at: email@example.com
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