Saturday, January 10, 2015

Looking back on 2014 and forward into 2015

Looking back on 2014 and forward into 2015

January 10, 2015 - December 26, 2014

By Kevin E. Dayhoff

Author’s note – I originally wrote this over the Christmas holiday. I was under the weather with that really-bad cold that has been making the rounds and trying to keep up with my assignments for the Baltimore Sun Carroll Eagle:; Carroll County Times:

Alas, I got a bit behind and this material below got orphaned in the computer and left behind. It made me sad. Although the idea that I was attempting to develop here did survive the cutting room floor and made it to daylight in an article published on January 7, 2015, “New year begins with familiar faces missing from county leadership.” New year begins with familiar faces missing from county leadership And here: “A love story that began on New Year's Eve, 1945.”

I’m still running behind as the New Year has begun in earnest without me; leaving me behind trying desperately to catch-up. I’m guessing that if I decide to toss my hat in the ring and once again run for political office after taking ten-years off – chances are that I’ll never catch-up… - KED, January 10, 2015


Westminster, Md January 10, 2015 - December 26, 2014 - - For many the year 2014 could not have come to an end any sooner. It was a strange year in the bewildering fantasy wilderness that lies beyond the borders of Carroll County.

In Asia, a very large passenger aircraft literally disappeared without a trance and CNN could not find it no matter how many hours it tried.

It was bad year for ginormous too-big-to-manage bureaucracies like the Veterans Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. It is bad enough that the IRS lost years of records that Congress wanted to audit; but the VA took it one-step farther and not only lost records but it also lost patients for months at a time. 

And just when you thought that customer service could not get any worse – it did. The business of the mega-banks, and especially the cable and cellphone companies is not to provide you with a service, but to charge you exorbitant ever-increasing fees every month without providing you anything in exchange - in order to serve us better. I have tried unsuccessfully to correct my address with PNC for six-months and as of last week, its mail was still had the wrong address.

A large number of seemingly sane individuals made videos of pouring water on top of their heads.

Some pedestrian wandered into the unlocked front door of the White House. I mean I cannot get my mother past security to get her on an airplane without her being tossed out of her wheelchair, strip-searched, water boarded, and interrogated under a swinging lightbulb like she is a criminal, but some guy strolled into the front door of the most secure building in the world like he was visiting Starbucks.

Towards the end of the year, it appears that maybe, just maybe, the world’s economy is showing some signs of recovery despite the clumsy regressive economic machinations of Washington DC and the European Union.  

Looking forward to the year 2015 reveals many momentous dates in history to ponder, revisit and study. Much of the study of history last year was centered upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Several years ago, the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861 was the focus of much attention.

This coming year we can look forward to some discussion over the significance of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” - written 150-years ago, in 1865.

800 years ago, the Magna Carta was initially written by the Archbishop of Canterbury and issued by the English King John at Runnymede on June 15, 1215 to essentially establish basic personal freedoms. Although the Magna Carta itself is a significant event in history; its influence on political theory, subsequent charters, treatises and governing documents such as our own American Constitution is immeasurable – to this day.

2015 will also be the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, in which allied forces, “the “Seventh Coalition,” led by the British Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, put an end to Napoleon’s reign of terror in Europe. What followed was a half-century of peace which enabled the Industrial Revolution, which had begun in 1760, to flourish unhampered by the economic chaos of war and catch a second wave from 1820 to 1840.

This year also marks 70-years since the end of World War II. Although events such as Waterloo and the issuance of the Magna Carta have an affect on our lives to this day, nothing can more poignant to many of us than memories of the war years or the recollections of our parents who endured the depravities of the war, whether they served overseas or stateside.

The Greatest Generation, a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw, are the folks who grew-up during the Great Depression only to go on to fight for our country in WWII. Many of us learned about the war from our parents or grandparents.

Sadly, to bring history down to a personal level, according to many sources, including that of The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, “Approximately every three minutes a memory of World War II – its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs – disappears. Yielding to the unalterable process of aging, the men and women who fought and won the great conflict are now mostly in their 90s. They are dying quickly – at the rate of approximately 555 a day, according to US Veterans Administration figures.”
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