the more things change, the more they stay the same

Darryl and Annice Stewart lived on Hill Street, the only busy street in Whitmire, Texas, because it was the highway leading out of town. One morning Darryl stormed out of the house carrying his tool belt when Annice came out behind him wearing only her nightgown. “Darryl, Darryl,” she called, lifting the gown over her head to show her completely bare body, “You can have it all if you’ll just apologize.”

Darryl dropped his tool belt on the hood of his pickup and went back inside. The belt was still there at 4 p.m. It’s Whitmire. Nobody wants somebody else’s tools.


Predictions of catastrophe are fairly common. Personally, I fear world war. The US withdrawal from peacekeeping will have dire consequences that will seriously damage the planetary environment and the continental US as ambitious nations rush to fill the void. Conflict is inevitable but world war is most likely. When world leaders embrace extremism and ignorance, as the current US president does, the results are not pretty. We will see the planet plunge into superstition instead of science, and hatred instead of charity. In other words, barbarity is rising. Racial holocaust is in our future if we cannot correct our course. Einstein’s famous prediction looks more true to me every day: “I don’t know how the next world war will be fought, but the one after that will be fought with sticks and stones.” I cannot understand why angry, old white men want to destroy everything, but it looks like a common psychological phenomenon.

On the more positive side, vast improvement in air pollution might be possible with greater use of wind and solar power. The rise of electric vehicles is...