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December, 2015
Some changes I’d like to see

Some changes I’d like to see

We’ve finally arrived at the holiday season and can start thinking about our wishes for the New Year. By any measure, no one believes this has been a worry-free, happy-go-lucky 12 months. We’re living in dangerous times, and there’s no way we can ignore the perils around us, but we have much to be thankful for. So here are a few of my wishes.

I wish I could remember all the passwords I use to get into my various accounts. Somehow, every time I pick a new password, I forget to record it, confident that I’ll remember it nine months later. There has to be a safe, secure place for me to hide them that Edward Snowden can’t get to.

I wish the weather forecasters would make up their minds about whether we’re in for a sustained winter heat wave or a cold wave, like last year. There’s no sense in buying a heavy overcoat if people are going to be wearing bathing suits in Manhattan in February. I always believed that instead of all those pretty blond weather girls, the networks should hire people with arthritis who will know exactly when it’s going to rain or snow.

I wish the television networks would stop accepting advertisements for various types of drugs. At the beginning of the pitch for the product, it sounds so good, but at the end they whisper that you could die of cancer if you use it. Apparently there aren’t any strong laws governing these ads, other than that drug companies can’t make claims that are untrue.

I wish the national media would stop complaining about all of the positions taken by presidential candidates and instead simply not give them so much free airtime. Griping about Donald Trump’s views on Muslims shouldn’t involve 50 minutes of exposure for Mr. Trump.

I wish all politicians were forced to sign an oath that any promises they make are binding commitments, and if they break them after they’re elected, they could be punished by losing their new jobs. There’s nothing worse than a promise made before an election that isn’t kept after the election.

 

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GOP chickens coming home to roost

GOP chickens coming home to roost

I have always believed that politics and the Bible must be linked together in order for the people we elect to public office to understand that there are consequences to their words and their actions.

My favorite passage from the King James version of the Bible is “whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap.”

The downward spiral of the Republican Party in this country is totally due to their statements and actions, which have succeeded not only in destroying the party nationally, but is very responsible for the public anger we see every day at elected officials.

Those of us who are close to politics felt that the election of Barack Obama seven years ago would be a sea change for the better. We silently wished that America would come together and we would get so many good things done, all with bipartisan support.

President Obama, to the disappointment of many of his supporters, hasn’t exactly been the leader we expected, but will be treated a lot better by future historians for the many things that he has done for the country.

Regrettably, from day one, the Republican leaders in Congress pledged that they would do everything possible to tear down the first African-American president ever to be elected. And day by day they kept their promise with obstruction, grandstanding and outright obnoxious conduct.

They kept their pledge by blocking any initiative offered by the President and even to this day, with mass slaughters of innocent people, the Republican Congress votes down legislation to stop terrorists from buying guns.

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A savvy 8-year-old’s take on the world

A savvy 8-year-old’s take on the world

My next-door neighbor’s 8-year-old son Jamie likes to talk politics, and I try to find time to listen to his views on anything from gun control to Donald Trump. They say that from the mouths of babes comes wisdom, so I took time to listen to Jamie’s take on the state of things, hoping to glean some new knowledge about how kids view the world around us.

Jamie, how do you feel about fixing our roads and bridges? “Every time my parents take us out for a ride, the roads are bumpy and my father curses about having an accident,” he said. He thought someone should be responsible for fixing the streets. “I have to clean my room, and I get punished for breaking something,” he said, “so why shouldn’t somebody else get punished for the bad streets?”

Jamie, how do you feel about gun control? Everyone his age, he said, wants to own a gun, even if they will never use it. They play video games that show how guns kill “bad guys.” Some of their first summer toys are water guns that they use to torment their friends. He said he believes that good people are killed by guns as well, but in the end guns should not be taken away from people. The NRA would love to hear that.

What does he think about all the fuss about tests and Common Core? He said he’s never heard of Common Core, but his mother has been to night meetings at which the parents complain about too many tests, and he agrees. “I get tested almost every week in class, so why do I have to take more tests?” he said. “If my teacher is doing a bad job, they don’t need to punish me.” He does admit that there should be a way to figure out if he is “learning the right things.”

His views on baseball are interesting. I asked why the Yankees didn’t go far enough in the playoffs. “They have too many old men playing,” Jamie said. “The players shouldn’t be older than 25.” I guess by his standards, 26 is now old age for baseball players. As for the Mets, he was happy for his friends who are Met fans, but, he said, “I wouldn’t ever go to any of their games.”

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