opened the last journal speaking about my upcoming, far too brief,visit to the ski areas of Park City, The Canyons and Deer Valley above the 9000 ft altitude region of Utah.. I've seen the photos from the three day adventure and, as I predicted, pictures of me wearing a ski helmet do give the appearance of my being a smerf. I had never before given in to the advice of loved ones who implored me to wear a helmet on the slopes. As a result of my experience I shall wear the contraption whenever I'm skiing. On the second morning I was ploughed into by a kid about 18 years old; big fellow on a snowboard. He kept apologizing and calling me Dude. I assured him that he must have mistaken me for someone else. I am not Dude! He, with his board hit me, with skis, squarely at the head of the femur, on the side where, during the year gone by, I had received a hip transplant. To my astonishment, no damage was done, even though it knocked me off-balance and into a tree. The tree is fine. Me too. The helmet worked well, and this dude will be forever grateful.
During the year 2008 Californian voters went to the polls three times, most recently voting for the new president. March 3rd., we'll be voting again, this time for mayor, city attorney, more than half the City Council, a majority of the school board, plus five ballot measures.
Municipal elections are seldom exciting events in California. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa seeks a second term on a record of mastering the political game but middling achievement in his first term. It hardly seems so, but this year's mayoral race has produced 10 candidates. Six candidates are seeking to be city attorney, three for controller and four candidates are vying for two open seats in the school board contest. And there is more, but the lack of public interest is sad. Looking back to the years 2001 and 2005 barely a quarter of eligible voters cast ballots. And those were hotly contested races between Villaraigosa and Mayor James K.Hahn. The runoff had a turnout of 4.7% of eligible voters. One day they'll give an election and nobody will show up!
The current vicious political slant being broadcast all along the conservative a.m. band, is a sad reflection of, according to radio station management and ownership, what the American public wants to hear. Most of the talkers with a microphone are fairly glib, exceedingly arrogant, opinionated, mean and unfair. Most are syndicated nationwide and spend a considerable amount of their time damning the President, slamming the Democrats, claiming that they are a beleaguered minority that the liberals are out to destroy. Many of them are fed material to use on the air that emanates from Conservative think tanks, newspapers and magazines. The same characters who claim that the media are liberal controlled. That's such nonsense and so self-serving plus, not that it matters to them, inaccurate.
Conservative hero Ronald Reagan spent 16 years in government, and if there is one line of Reagan's that these talk show personalities love to use it is his comment that "..."government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem". They overlook Reagan's opening; "In the present crisis...". He followed the quote saying, "now, so that there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work". He was not, in any way, rejecting government, he simply believed, as President Obama proclaims, he wants better government with wiser management .
By the way it is impossible to have a government that is small when you are dealing with the needs of a nation of well over 300 million citizens. Simply building and maintaining roads, delivering the mail, maintaining the military, operating the courts, fighting the wars and all manner of other aspects specifically mandated by the Constitution of this country, necessitate large government.
While reversing some of the policies of George Bush, President Obama has, thus far, avoided partisan recrimination and he has sought the co-operation of Republicans. For the sake of the United States, Republicans should really try and be more cooperative and willingly accept Obama's invitation to help govern. President Obama has made a strong, decisive, confidant start. He quickly signed orders closing Guantanamo Bay, ending the CIA's use of secret prisons, and requiring interrogators to abide by "non coercive" methods laid down by the Army Manual. That will dispense one of the most reviled aspects of the Bush administration.
He has put together a talented and strong team to fill the cabinet posts.
On the economy, Mr.Obama's team is making haste to enact a fiscal stimulus of $825 billion over two years. With major majorities in Congress the President will likely be able to have his way with Congress.
What to watch for! As unemployment continues to mount, fury over "welfare for the banks" will increase.
I learned the following from Joel Cohen's work; head of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University. Human numbers currently increase by between 75 and 80 million people annually. Put it this way, that's the equivalent of adding another United States to the world about every four years. If you look back to the year 1950 the poorer nations (or less-developed nations) had roughly twice the population of the more developed or richest ones. By the year 2050 that ration will exceed 6 to 1.
More tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow