Commentary

John Patrick Ford

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

Observations

The debate over a new stadium is heating up again, ignited by Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s State of the City speech. Neither side of the issue was pleased.

If you are a business-news junkie like me, you could hardly miss the trends of the past two months that presumably predict the 2015 economy. Before the holiday season and on into January, retailing was a priority fiscal indicator. Now we have oil production as a runner-up for the most crucial headline of the day.

The eccentric figurehead leader of North Korea is at it again. Not content to rattle his neighbors by firing missiles over the Sea of Japan or secretly testing nuclear devices, Kim Jong Un has shown his ability to hack into any digital system. Is this the start of a cyberwar?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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