Commentary

John Patrick Ford

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

Observations

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.

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.

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.

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.

A dedicated new board of directors teamed with determined employees and association members to rescue San Diego Opera from the brink of bankruptcy. In just four weeks the successful drive to raise $2.4 million was a great vote of confidence from mostly small donors, many of whom never gave money to the opera company before.

As an adjunct to my series on health care issues, I have a report on the new Jacobs Medical Center under construction on the UC San Diego Health System campus at a cost of $839 million.

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