From The President

T U C S O N     G R E A T    D E C I S I O N S

A S S O C I A T I O N
PO Box 69726
Oro Valley, AZ 85737

As I pen this letter to all of you, fall is beginning to show its face in the greater Tucson area.  It was a great monsoon season this year and the flora in Tucson certainly show it.  It is green everywhere.  I am looking forward to the 2022 Great Decisions with great anticipation.  While the Covid pandemic is in its late stages and many of us have been vaccinated, there is still some concern about in-person discussions, and we have heard that many of our Tucson discussions will meet via Zoom again this year.

We know some of our loyal Great Decisions participants have been leery of the Zoom-based discussions and were reluctant to participate via Zoom in 2021.  Here in Tucson, we have been fortunate to have a board member focused on facilitating the use of Zoom for meetings and, as a result, our 2021 groups flourished using that medium.  We will again be supporting the use of Zoom to provide a safe haven for meeting, but, in addition, it is nice to be able to attend a meeting without driving or when out of town.  With Zoom, it does not matter where you are, or your concern about being in a group setting. It provides a means for sharing the topic video, any presentation materials and individual participation in a discussion with a larger group. Access to a discussion can be on phone, smartphone, tablet, or computer. It only requires that you have a voice connection to Zoom. Last year, my group had three participants from Canada.  So if you missed us last year, consider rejoining us in these discussions in 2022. 

Our 2022 discussions will address nine topics this year.

  • Changing Demographics
  • Outer Space
  • Climate Change
  • Russia and the US
  • Myanmar and ASEAN
  • The Quad Alliance
  • Drug Policy in Latin America
  • Industrial Policy
  • Biden’s Agenda

In Changing Demographics, we’ll explore how these changes are effecting addressing the needed social, environmental and security challenges in the world.  Outer Space will look at how the US deals with the increasingly crowded outer space.  Climate Change will focus on what role the US will play in this important issue facing the world.  We’ve visited Myanmar several times over the last ten years and this country continues to experience governance issues.  This year we’ll be discussing the relationship between the Myanmar military regime and ASEAN.  The US sale of a nuclear submarine to Australia came out of the blue to me, but it may well be a part of the strengthening of The Quad Alliance: US, Australia, India, and Japan.  We’ll look at the implications of that pact.  Drug Policy in Latin America explores this as perhaps the underlying cause of the ongoing “War on Drugs” in the US. In Industrial Policy, we’ll look at the relationship between governmental policy and US industrial businesses to seek a better understanding of supply chain issues.

This year our video support for discussions will be provided by a 30 minute “Master Class” on the discussion topic.  This will enhance our understanding of the issue and provide ample fodder for having some productive discussions as we open the doors on 2022 US and the world.  I sincerely hope you’ll join us in these discussions.  Our website has the information on our current groups at https://www.tgda.org/tgdadiscuss/ .  

If you missed out on 2021, join a group in 2022 by contacting one of the group moderators, or if you are at a loss about which one, email me at dick@tgda.org or consider starting a discussion group with your local social group or network.  Tucson Great Decisions will support you in your formation and your Zoom accommodation efforts.

As always, we need your help in preparing for the season. Your discussion group moderator will be asking you for your plans for the season and will need that so that we can know how many books to order. We order our briefing books in bulk to qualify for a volume discount that allows us to reduce the cost to you and pay our operating costs. While we can order additional books after our initial order, we are not able to return books that we have already bought. So, please respond to any request for information about your 2022 Great Decisions plans.

On another note, our fall webinar topic was The Abraham Accords; What do they mean for Middle East peace? with our speakerJeremy Pressman, PhD, the author of a Foreign Affairs paper on the topic.  If you would like to view the recording of the webinar, send an email to dick@tgda.org to get information on how you might see it.

Your personal comments or feedback is invited. Please use the contact button on our website or email me at dick@tgda.org.

Dick Kelbaugh

President
Tucson Great Decisions Association