One of the sights of spring that many of us enjoy is watching children play organized sports. While it is doubtful that any of the ones we are watching will become professionals, and only slightly less doubtful that any will finance their college education with the skills being learned at the ancient ages of five and six. However, the idea that these children are learning to work as a team, acting together toward a common goal, and accepting that winning is not always the result of hard work is one that should warm the heart of any adult who is watching.
Does anybody remember the political advertisement during Barack Obamaâ€™s original campaign for the Presidency about the 3 A.M. phone call? For those of you who donâ€™t remember, it went something like â€śItâ€™s 3 A.M., thereâ€™s a national emergency and the phone is ringing in the White House; who do you want picking up that phone?â€ť As I recall, there was then a pause at the end of the script (I think it was to give everybody time to shudder thinking how close Al Gore came to being the President during 9-11).
While Iâ€™m not sure what would be the number one biggest trouble maker in politics at the local level, I would have to say, if you leave out dishonesty and criminal behavior, pot holes rank way up there. I know from personal experience that when you start a conversation about local conditions with a resident of the area, if the streets arenâ€™t in pristine condition, the subject of bad roads and pot holes is going to come up.
I try very hard to keep my pet peeves and peccadillos out of this column; they are my problem, not yours. This one, however, is becoming an issue for our state as well as our nation.
Not very long ago, I wrote an article (where among other things) I made fun of Michelle Obama and how she claimed that somebody asking her to reach up and get something off a shelf for them at a Target store made her a victim of some kind of discrimination. I also pointed out that since Iâ€™m a lot taller than she is, I know much more about how vertically challenged people take advantage of those of us with some height than she does.
Most of the Christian community celebrates Ash Wednesday this week. In the modern church, it is a day whose significance is the beginning of Lent, the period of six weeks leading up to Easter, the day after the end of Mardi Gras. As with many, if not most, church dates, its history can give a glimpse into the history of our civilization.
One would have to be completely blind and deaf to avoid realizing that the famous pink and red holiday, Valentineâ€™s Day, is rapidly approaching. Aisles of stores are blocked with heart shaped boxes of candy, major candy makers have wrapped their more plebian offerings in red, pink and gold foils. The card section is as red as it was before Christmas.
Our calendars are filled with anniversaries. We remember the birthdays of friends, and anniversaries. We recall dates that someone tells us should be celebratedâ€¦.dates like â€śValentineâ€™s Dayâ€ť and â€śSt. Patrickâ€™s Dayâ€ť; we sort of recall the birth dates of famous people â€“ even though we may celebrate them at off times. We remember somber things, the Alamo, Pearl Harbor, and September 11, although our remembrance of those dates tends to become more positive as we look beyond them.
Americanâ€™s median income was $51,939.00 in 2013. In 2012 our median income was $51,759.00. In 1999, the pre-recession peak median American income was $56,436.00. Five years ago the United States Treasury took in 2.1 trillion dollars.
As someone who has lots of discussions with people about the political and social state of our country, Iâ€™m well aware of the frustration felt by people who would like to change things for the better. Changing, or getting control, of entrenched bureaucracies, or trying to figure out how to reduce social problems, such as teen-pregnancies, high dropout rates, rising poverty levels, etc. can be a very daunting task.