Here are questions to ponder, and possibly with your answers, although let me forewarn you that some of the answers will not come easily.
1. I got this question from the “Parade” magazine insert in last Sunday’s Telegraph and in Marilyn vos Savant’s column. The background from Marilyn: “We hear about all sorts of terrible weather events around the around the world. Why do we seldom hear about tornadoes in the other countries?”
– Jenna White, Wichita, Kansas
Marilyn’s answer: “Because we have far more tornadoes than all other countries combined. The U.S. experiences an average of 1,000 tornadoes yearly while Canada, which ranks second, gets only about 100, despite having roughly the same land area. The rest of the world gets a total of another 100 to 200.”
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Now for my question: Why?
2. There is a great disparity, generally speaking, between Georgia’s quality of life (economy, health care, public schools, etc.) north of the fall line and south of the fall line. My question: What, if anything, can be done to change these obvious and significant disparities?
3. My next question: Has social media, in the balance, been a positive or negative? And, where does it go from here?
4. What about driverless automobiles — a fad or a growing trend that will ultimately be the norm? If ultimately the norm, when?
5. What will the average life span be 25 years from now? What about 50 years from now? And, will society be able to cope with the great increase in the number of older citizens?
6. These questions are for SEC football fans, of which I am one. Which team this year will win the East? What about the West? How many games will Georgia win? What about Auburn? Will Georgia defeat Florida? Tennessee? Notre Dame? South Carolina?
7. These questions are for Georgia Tech fans. Will Georgia Tech compete for the ACC championship? Does any coach in America get more out of what he has to work with than Tech’s coach, Paul Johnson? If so, who?
8. Next year, in Georgia, among others, we will elect a new governor and a new lieutenant governor. Republican or Democrat? Who will win each position? Do they let you bet on this in Las Vegas? If so, and you pick both winners, I’d bet you could win lots of money.
9. How about the economy? Compared to six months ago? Better? Worse? About the same? What will it be a year from now?
10. Expanded rights to carry fire arms. Are we safer? Less safe? And will carry-rights continue to expand?
11. As a country, are we safer or less safe than we were 10 years ago. If less safe, what can we do to become more safe? More arms and defenses, or better and more effective diplomacy, or both?
12. Rank these, which I placed in alphabetical order, as to how well they are doing their jobs: churches, colleges and universities, Congress, firefighters and policemen, military, public schools, technical schools and colleges.
13. Global warming? Real or political? Efforts designed to lessen warming — will this expand or be curtailed?
14. America’s most dangerous enemy, the one with whom we are most likely to have armed conflict? North Korea? Russia? China? Other?
15. For the future, which is the biggest problem: Scarcity of water, global warming, air pollution, nuclear disaster, or terrorism?
16. Will American democracy, as we have known it in the past, survive for another 100 years?
17. For the foreseeable future, will the Republicans continue to have majorities in the House and Senate in Washington? And, in Atlanta, will all the constitutional offices, the governor’s office, the lieutenant governor’s office, and the House and Senate be in Republican hands and control?
18. Will we see marijuana for recreational purposes legalized in Georgia within the next 10 years? What about casino gambling?
There you have it. Eighteen categories, but about 50 questions. Your answers are as good as anyone else’s. No one knows the answers. It’s just something for you to ponder and make you worry a little — or perhaps a lot.
Larry Walker is a practicing attorney in Perry. He served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly and presently serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.