While Iâm 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 arenât 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 Iâm 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, 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.