One would have to be completely blind and deaf to avoid realizing that the famous pink and red holiday, Valentineâs 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 celebratedâŠ.dates like âValentineâs Dayâ and âSt. Patrickâs Dayâ; 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.
Americanâs 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, Iâm 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.
Despite the fact that 2014 was not a legislative year, there are a couple of new laws that took effect the first of the month. Most will not have a major impact on the people of Nolan County, but there are a couple that may. In addition, there are already many new laws âprefiledâ for legislative consideration when they return to the capitol..
There is something in humanity that likes to âstart overâ, and to celebrate that new beginning as though nothing had gone before. We have an insuppressible urge to believe that âluckâ will be with us this time, and that things will get better. New Yearsâ Day is one for resolutions that, while voiced with all good intent, will probably not last the year; it is a day to remember what was good, mourn that which was lost, and to prepare for another year. So, while we are a few days past the actual first (brrrrrr!), perhaps some reflection would not be a bad thing.
Something thatâs been all over the news lately is that The Barack and his wife, Michelle, have recently laid claim to being victims of discrimination. Letâs see, both of them were helped into ivy league schools, and then, at least in Michelleâs case, into cushy, high-paying, no-show jobs (normally being a state Senator isnât a âno-showâ job, but thatâs pretty much how The Barack did it, unless of course there was a vote on killing children, and then he made sure to be there).
It was my intent to have a lighthearted column for today, one that would leave all concerned feeling âgoodâ about themselves, the holiday, and the days to come. Unfortunately, situations in our nation and world leave many of us feeling, at best, uncomfortable. The deaths in Ferguson and New York â with the ensuing riots-, the deaths in Pakistan, with gunmen seeking children to shoot, these and other horrific situations dominate our news. Even in the midst of war opposing sides have been known to stop and acknowledge the humanity of both sides; today that seems to be impossible.
The holidays are predicted to see Americans hitting the roads in record numbers. We take for granted our ability to move about on the highway system â and are quick to complain about the bumps, ruts, or periodic inconveniences! According to the National Research Council, we use highways for more than 90% of our trips, and ship 69% of our freight over them.
âHow much is that puppy in the window, the one with the waggldy tailâŠ?â While the song is not necessarily aimed directly at the holidays, retail research indicates that Christmas is still one of the favorite times to give someone a puppy or kitten. The problem is, if the person and / or household are not ready, this is a death sentence for the puppy.