Commentary – That good ol’ wood pile

Jeff Burgar

My Christmas holiday season was unofficially over about four weeks ago.

Always so many things, so little time! I didn’t get any wood chopped. I didn’t get any of my special projects much further along. I barely caught up on sleep. I cracked not one of the “beverages” my relatives bought me for Christmas.

Oh, well! Time flies on!

I managed to start reading a few books. In the stacks of my unread David Baldacci and Lee Child and John Sanford books, I also have a few Tom Clancy spinoffs.

All are fun stuff for reading on cold winter nights. Except maybe Sanford’s Winter Prey, which has way too much description of Minnesota’s winters. Deep snow, sleds zooming around driven by murderous bad guys, hungry coyotes, and descriptions of freezing temperatures that actually don’t even come close to a brisk evening in northern Alberta.

Anyway, here are words from the foreword from my last read – one of the Tom Clancy Op-Center novels:

“As President Obama said in a widely watched speech in September 2014, ‘Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.’”

The foreword continues, but no longer quoting Obama, “Almost two years later U.S. national security officials remain perplexed as to how to deal with ISIS. No one is talking today, in 2016, about defeating ISIS, only containing it. What is happening in the greater Mideast in areas where ISIS roams freely will not resolve itself in the next several years. ISIS will remain a threat to the west years into the future because America has not come to grips with how to deal with this cancer.”

That was printed in late 2016. Today, following American president Donald Trump’s “unleashing” of the American military, fully 98 per cent of the territory ISIS claimed is now recovered. ISIS itself as a regional military force and its own nation, is shattered.


I find this all very reassuring. It seems natural to be terrified of Trump and his nuclear button. It seems natural to worry and fret over the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran.

Why natural? Because we are told to be terrified over and over again, through many national and international media and the Hollywood entertainment industries.

Our world has an endless supply of bad guys. More pop up almost every week. We can sit around being perplexed [see above] as things just keep piling up, or try to find a realistic way to deal with the world. In that, I remain very optimistic.

I will be chopping wood for fun, not to just stay alive in whatever winter throws our way.


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