Commentary

Observations

By John Patrick Ford

Spirit of Christmas centers on malls

Deals, deals, deals. That’s what all the promotion of Black Friday and the entire Thanksgiving holiday was about. Forget the turkey dinner, family gathering and a few moments of thanks; just get out there for a deal.

Battle lines form on immigration reform

Two commentaries in a recent edition of The Daily Transcript extended an explanation of why immigration reform cannot be legislated. The respective opinions of each columnist looked beyond the common excuse of congressional gridlock.

Do veterans deserve to be ignored?

News coverage about American veterans with post-combat trauma is constant. Mental disorders, drug and alcohol addiction have evolved into suicides, as recently reported about the young Marine who shot himself on a firing range in Oceanside because of despondency.

How to support a 30-year retirement

Postponing Social Security benefits can be a key retirement component for better income in the golden years ahead. That’s what Dr. John Shoven, director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, told a capacity audience at the UC San Diego Faculty Club.

Travelers who pack digital gadgets miss out on vacation

When I travel, I leave all the IT connections and digital gadgets at home. The only exception is the charger for my cellphone that I keep in the car for emergency use.

Missing Dear Leader raised questions

It has been relatively quiet on the eastern front. The North Korean dictatorship hasn’t been rattling its sword with persistent missile launches, refusing international inspection of its nuclear capability or having border issues with the South. This was typical of the regime headed by Kim Jong Un since he took the reins in 2011.

Buffett raises the bar for investors

For an 84-year-old billionaire who generally stays under the radar, Warren Buffett has been headline news this summer. First was the financial eye-opener that his flagship company, Berkshire Hathaway, burst through a stock market record to be priced at more than $200,000 per share. That’s only for one.

Diversity in generations

Pity the poor millennials, those born between 1977 and 1997, who are graduating from college and can’t get a job. Or even worse, those with no degree or a skill that used to support the vast middle class of factory workers. Those jobs went overseas.

Will a split Republican Party rally?

With the ashes settled from the crash and burn of the Republican campaign of 2012, it is a good time to reflect on some basic problems. Editorial pages and business magazines are full of advice. Broadcasters add their biased opinions for solutions to help the conservative wing of the party win young and ethnic voters.

Coronado: At home in the world of Oz

Fantasy fans followed the Yellow Brick Road last week to an Oz Festival in Coronado celebrating 75 years of the 1939 blockbuster film. Oz in Coronado? How did that happen? Well, many of the famous books that have captivated children for over a century were written there.

A nation of immigrants faces reality

The immigration reform legislation before Congress has become the favorite kickball of this session. Despite a reasonable effort passed by the Senate with a bipartisan majority a year ago, the House of Representatives has shelved immigration legislation. Reasonable folk believe it must be addressed to stop the gridlock at the Mexican border.

A pioneer scientist of nuclear weapons

One of the most significant discoveries of the second millennium, nuclear power, was conceived by a physicist who is relatively unknown outside his circle of accomplished colleagues. He didn’t receive a Nobel Prize for his genius, but those who did based on his theories credit him for the concept.

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John Patrick Ford

John Patrick Ford is a free-lance writer based in San Diego....

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