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Sunrise has been the most elegant ever. Better than at sea, better than on the Great Plains, better than high in the Colorado Front Range looking back over the ironing board flat expanse of forever.

It started with the sun looming in blue, gray and dark purple. Red bands of curdled clouds progressed to eastern gold as the cotton candy overhead appeared from nothing as pink shreds. From gold the coming half of the day moved to silver and finally to white with the overhead echoes following.

They say turn off your TV and computer well before bedtime because blue light activates our basic biological mental processes. To be convinced, look at a clear blue morning sky, even with a few wisps of white, for even a few minutes and see how you feel. Sunrise advanced so that, in the end, although straight up you could see clear blue, the eastern sky settled into many shades of gray with a silver brilliant lining in places, much resembling life in general.

I am grateful for life, for family, for the blessings of liberty and for this sunrise. May all be continued.

During this whole holiday season, do not lose sight of the fact that families, like sunrises, do not last forever. That circle, no matter how well-repaired, no matter how far enlarged, once broken, will never be exactly the same.

Do not waste the present in acrimony or apathy, this evanescent present becomes the irretrievable past in an instant.

So hoping we can help maintain some semblance of digestion-enhancing calm at the turkey table, let us try to keep us speaking the same language. Between parent and child, between the members of a marriage and among the citizens of a nation, it is always good to be sure we are all using the same definition of words.

Talking past each other until we get to the shouting and slapping stage is at all times to be avoided. The next stage is the dissolution of these unions. We may be dangerously close to being there for the last of the three examples above.

Sure as somebody will knock over their iced tea, somebody will say socialism. The word almost got worn out and used up during the recent political campaign, but there’s still some left, at least enough to start a fight with.

Socialism is the ownership and operation of some activity of society by the people as a whole, the government, rather than ownership by an individual or group of individuals. An example would be Pemex, the oil company owned and operated by the Mexican government, contrasted to ExxonMobil, a corporation, owned by many individuals.

Socialism, often represented for incendiary political purposes as an all-or-none matter, can be partial. Examples of failed totally socialistic nations abound. Dog-eat-dog, devil-take- the hindmost capitalism has had its unpleasant moments also. Examples of nations combining these two forms of organization include almost all modern societies.

Our wars, from the nation’s inception borne forward by citizen soldiers, were recently being considered for outsourcing in part to Academi, the former Blackwater Security. At one time prominent in oil field security, the firm has grown to a size sufficient to offer to take over our long-suffering Afghanistan action, a bargain at a million dollars a day.

This move was said to only be forestalled by the presence of “my generals” among the presidential advisers. A great opportunity missed to reduce our dependence on a socialistic institution; the U.S. military, owned and operated by us all, employing instead that gem of capitalism, private enterprise. A great opportunity missed to increase the movement of public money into private hands. Maybe it’s not too late. The generals are all gone and we have almost two months left.

When Eisenhower got a look at the efficiency of Hitler’s Autobahn, he was convinced we needed one too, thus our interstate system. Life without the interstate would be like going back to phone booths and livery stables. We could, however, convert this concrete network to private ownership, a move recently mentioned.

Every road a toll road would be another great way to further the concentration of money from average Joe to Lord Plushbottom’s already bulging treasure chests and get rid of one more socialistic enterprise.

Maybe we are about to find out if the only socialized aspect of our health care system, America’s public health agencies, can handle the current tragically out-of-control pandemic, as they have so many plagues in the past.

Finally, I am grateful to live in a country that has blended the best of socialism, capitalism and any other ism you may have into the greatest success in human governance yet achieved.

God bless America. And God bless my family and yours.

Arthur Garrett is a practicing medical geneticist, retired pediatrician and former educator. Email him at doctorg23@yahoo.com.