Renewing license plates
The plates on one of our vehicles expired in August. We normally receive a renewal notice during the first week of the month, however, a renewal notice never came in the mail. I finally called the DMV in Denver on Aug. 30 to inquire about the renewal notice process. It was surprisingly easy to get through. The helpful person I talked with advised me that the “courtesy” renewal notices for August renewals were all mailed by the end of the first week in August. Since we had not received the notice, it was apparently “lost in the mail”. She also advised me that calls regarding non-receipt of courtesy notices often came from southern Colorado residents. Finally, she told me that all I needed to renew a registration was to take the license plate number, VIN, and verification of current registration, all of which is on the registration slip that should be maintained in the vehicle, to my local DMV and they could process it immediately.
I took her advice and went to the DMV office on Fort Carson the same day. 2022 Expiration tabs were issued and applied upon return home, so my plates were renewed by the end of the expiration month.
The bottom line regarding expired plates. For want of a better reason, blame it on the post office.
Personal freedom vs. society’s safety
For a civilized society to operate smoothly, there are rules that citizens are expected to follow: stop at traffic lights, wear seat belts, not yell “fire” in a crowd; also, forming orderly lines, trying to get along with people, and being respectful. Whether we like it or not, these things help society function in an orderly fashion. The rules help keep us safe as a society. Can you imagine what would happen if people could do whatever they wanted? There would be chaos! When chaos occurs, the climate is ripe for a dictator to step in and take over. Most personal freedoms vanish in dictatorships.
In a well-functioning society, individual freedoms must have some limits. Yes, we love our individual freedoms, but our nation is a sum of its parts. The parts work together to form a system for the greater good. We are the parts and must have some sort of organization to be able to live together in a modern society.
Some personal freedoms must be put aside for the safety and health of all people, for the greater good. Not getting vaccinated against COVID is a personal choice, but what if you’re wrong and your child, or another loved one, dies because you haven’t been vaccinated? It is not in our best interest as a country to lack consideration for others and to disregard what is necessary for the greater good. When did we get so selfish?
The world has gotten complicated with many big problems that need cooperation in order to be solved. If we cannot have conversations and compromises, we all will be in trouble. It takes people working together to make society function smoothly.
It’s our natural tendency to think of ourselves first and to protect what we believe are our personal rights, but we need to look at the bigger picture — not just our own causes. We need to learn to play together in the sandbox, just like we teach our children in kindergarten. Our safety and future requires it! We have a collective responsibility to protect ourselves and society.
If only that were true
In response to Bruce Nicklas’ sarcastic letter to the editor about the unvaccinated wearing a red V on their clothes for identification ... if only that were true, then my elderly mother who died of COVID-19 might still be alive. She was vaccinated, but someone wasn’t. If only we knew who those unvaccinated people were, we could, and my mother could have, avoided them.
The role of leadership in AfghanistanOn Sept. 11, Condoleezza Rice was asked whether the U.S. was better prepared against terrorist threats now than it was in 2001. Rice only covered our advances in airport security and (primarily satellite-deployed) intelligence gathering. What she did not say was that the terrorist threat is actually increased because in the last two months terrorist groups not only in Afghanistan but throughout the Middle East and Asia now have easy access to advanced U.S. weapons, night vision, and even military uniforms when the U.S. military slipped out of Bagram airbase in the middle of the night. So while there has been much discussion about how the evacuation from Kabul was handled, I submit the abandonment of Bagram airbase was a major contributor to the desertion by the Afghan army to the Taliban. Since the Afghan army no long had U.S. support, it is no wonder the Taliban soldiers in open trucks could advance so quickly to Kabul.
I believe the most important task of Congress is to immediately investigate the role of the military leadership in the Afghan disaster with a central focus on the abandonment of Bagram airbase without taking (or destroying) all of the equipment. The military leaders should be required to testify under oath (or resign if they refuse) what were the circumstances and the timeline leading up to the decision to abandon the airbase and to leave all of that equipment to the Taliban. What were the options/alternatives under consideration? What requests/recommendations did the onsite U.S. military, and leaders up the chain-of-command, make to the top-level military leadership and Secretary of Defense? The bottom-line question is who made the decision (and why) to abandon Bagram airbase under those circumstances? They (or that person) should resign or be released from duty.
Homage to those who toil
As I age and gain less income. but more wisdom, I see worth in all jobs. I look around and literally give thanks for each and every working person and the jobs they do. Many jobs are those I would not be qualified to do; many others I would prefer not to do. I look around and see the worth in every job. Growing up I gave little thought to the “work” required to do a job adequately. I now look beyond the obvious and think of what skills each job requires. I admire every person who earns an honest dollar. We are so blessed for those who came before us and were responsible for making our “labor” easier and more efficient. I think how difficult everyday life was even for our parents and grandparents.