Monthly Archives: August 2022

The True Cost of Higher Education!

I retired at the age of 43 after working from 1984 to 2000. I was a hardware and software design engineer and engineering manager at U.S. Robotics. We started small and became the largest modem manufacturer in the world. We had to hire lots of folks with higher education and advanced degrees. We could not find them here in the U.S.A. We hired many on work Visas from Japan, India, and China. I am sure with the state of higher education in our country today, we are probably worse off than we were then.

The fact is we need job creators. Not the kind that Republicans think of as investors but the kind that can handle very high-tech research, development, and manufacturing. We must have these kinds of folks to help us keep high tech jobs here in the U.S.A.

Helping people get a higher education is not just for college folks. If we want jobs in today’s global economy for people with less education, we need many more college educated folks to make those jobs possible.

Conveniently, the Republicans want to harken back to the past to make folks angry who paid off their loans without help or play on the inferiority of folks with no college education, or complain about raising the national debt, or falsely stoke fears about inflation.

What Republicans will not acknowledge is that college educated folks are job creators. CEOs do not do the actual work to make research, development, manufacturing, and logistics jobs required for a company to be based in the U.S.A. College education will give jobs to the children of people with less education so their children can help us compete with the rest of the word. The effect of creating more jobs in the U.S.A. will reduce inflation by reducing the cost of shipping and supply chain problems and bring good paying jobs back to the U.S.A. We also need to think about critical strategic defense which such programs as the new CHIPS program addresses. All of this will increase GDP. It is the best way to reduce the national debt by far.

College education is about the future not the past. Republicans say they do not want foreigners to replace jobs here in the U.S.A. but everything they do seems to require us to either hire overseas on work Visas or hire undocumented workers because we cannot pay folks a livable wage. You would think if they had any logic or at least consistency they would support a livable wage and highly educated ‘Jobs Creators’ here!

It appears to me that the Republicans of old which valued higher education with financial support (e.g., the GI bill) have been replaced by Republicans who only see higher education as a mere tool to make liberals. Their ideology is short sighted and will not prepare us for the world we are living in now. We will get left behind if we adhere to their divisive agenda.

Please, folks let’s not let them set the message – let’s be on the offensive not the defensive!

On Suicide

My son, Chris, committed suicide on April 24th, 2017, a few minutes after midnight with a .44 Magnum bullet to the head. No one has ever loved a child more than his mom and I loved Chris. I was lucky enough to retire when my kids were very young. I spent the best years of my life in an amazing mountain house being Mr. Mom to my angels in the Colorado mountains. Both of my kids had the most loving, supportive, parents a child could have. We were devoted to those babies, all in, with unconditional love. We still are.

When Chris put a bullet in his head, he didn’t know what hit him. Chris did not kill himself. He killed us. Only the living can die. The dead cannot die. Not only did he kill us, but he killed the world. He was such a tender soul and at the age of twenty he made a terrible, impulsive mistake not to grow up in this world. He had been plagued with anxiety since birth. He had all the loving support and professional support a troubled soul could have from kindergarten to the very last days of his life.

The reason I am writing this post is because I want those obsessed with suicidal ideation and everyone else to know that suicide is not heroic. Death is nothing to the person that is dead. Death is only death to the living. His mom and I and everyone who loved Chris live his death every day of our lives. We live in the shadow of his death. We die a little every day with him. Chris did not even know he was dead. What does this mean?

I want all to understand that hatred, envy, bitterness, resentment is surface for the living. Underneath all that is a belonging that far exceeds this erroneous, in philosophy we call metaphysical, notion that we are all absolute individuals. The opposite is true. No one that has ever lived, used language, thought – thinking IS history, culture, identity if you will, is merely ‘me’, alone. That notion only covers over our unique vulnerability, inability to be an isolated ‘me’. We run from our essential connection to each other when we imagine ourselves to be alone. We cover our inferiority with the garbs of shame when we ride momentary impulses of heroic, unmoored pride or hatred, enmity, anger, and resentment. All those things leave us emptier and emptier, as life moves on. If we give ourselves over to that, we become empty shells, husks of what could have been.

This is not just philosophical. This is emotional. This is life. Life is fundamental connection to the other for better or for worse. Our only choice is to be centered, grounded in love. And love is not simply a goosy feeling. Love is pain and how we live pain every day. Love is not letting momentary distractions take us off course. For you, young people, there will come a day when love will find you more and more immersed in pain. The pain of losing those you love will more and more, as you get older, dominate your inner ‘soulscape’. You can choose not to love or distract yourself from the pain of love but only at the cost of living an empty, futile life. There is no ‘heroic’ in love. There is only a peace beyond understanding, a satisfaction which endures, in the midst and mist of pain. To acknowledge our vulnerability to each other is to live. To run from it is to die. This is the only real choice we have. Choose wisely!

In the words of Alfred Tennyson,

I envy not in any moods

The captive void of noble rage,

The linnet born within the cage,

That never knew the summer woods:


I envy not the beast that takes

His licence in the field of time,

Unfetter’d by the sense of crime,

To whom a conscience never wakes;


Nor, what may count itself as blest,

The heart that never plighted troth

But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

Nor any want-begotten rest.


I hold it true, whate’er befall;

I feel it, when I sorrow most:

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.


From: In memoriam by Alfred lord Tennyson


Who Said ‘Better to Have Loved and Lost than Never to Have Loved at All’?