As 2023 staggered its end, most of us were probably struck with the procession of media news stories reporting criminal actions, fire disasters, car wrecks, retail thefts, and other ugly stories. We should remember that those kinds of stories do make news, involving police, fire departments, and other reporting authorities. What is less likely to make news are act of kindness, generosity, good Samaritans, people stepping in to help those who have suffered misfortunes.
Last Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that China “has just become the first in the world to put the latest generation of nuclear power technology into use, as a power plant with two new reactors started commercial operations in the eastern province of Shandong.”
Last week I watched a documentary on the StoryTV channel about the days in 1941 where the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and America was thrust into a world war. I happened to pull out a column by Don Feder in the Washington Times last May, on what he called the character crisis, which he said was long in the making.
Last week WCAX featured Stand Your Ground Vermont , a citizen gathering in Rutland to battle street crime, with the city police down three officers and the prosecutors complaining how their hands are tied. This is a very encouraging report. I hope it leads to a Rutland Guardian Angels group.
From The Dispatch news service November 6:
"Late last month, a man killed 18 people and injured 13 others in Lewiston, Maine. A common refrain in the wake of such tragedies is that “no one saw it coming,” but that’s typically not entirely true. Killers often have mental health issues and have threatened violence in the past, and this case was no different. The killer was an Army reservist, and the military had determined that he should not have access to a weapon or ammunition. An Army colleague had alerted the local police, who contacted the family but did little else…."
One of the ideas I have been interested in for the past fifty years is the clash between centralism and decentralism in human affairs. Many times in these broadcasts I have disparaged centralized systems for beating up on ordinary people and their little civic platoons, as Edmund Burke called them.