Commentary

George Hawkins

George Hawkins is retired after 35 years as a construction industry association manager. He was broadcast reporter and news anchor in Denver. As a Navy officer, he saw action in Vietnam in the River Assault Squadrons and is the recipient of a Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Think About It

A few days before Veterans Day, my wife and I took a San Diego Harbor cruise. We’ve done this several times over the years, taking advantage of the reduced ticket prices for retired military personnel. Each trip we learn something new.

The midterm election campaign is over. Some vote counting may continue, but the robocalls, radio and television advertisements and the canvassing that had people annoying other people on an almost daily basis is finished, at least for several months.

Voters in Chula Vista, Oceanside, San Diego County and the city of San Diego decided to join several other California cities by banning government-mandated project labor agreements. Organized labor responded quickly and persuaded its cohorts in the state Legislature to pass a law that prohibits state funding for any public construction project if the local unit of government has a PLA ban.

It’s been years since my last visit to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In the past I’ve able to complete California driver’s license renewals by mail. This year I have to appear in person.

Critics of big government charge there are so many laws that citizens commit three felonies a day. An attorney friend says that since 9/11, more than 5,000 new types of felonies have been created. Fortunately, most of us are not arrested for these new crimes.

When ardent supporters of an idea, issue or measure seem to win the day, opponents holler foul. It is as inevitable as a politician breaking a promise.

My wife and I recently spent a few days in Vancouver, British Columbia. The city proper is about half the size of the city of San Diego, but it seems to be dealing with issues similar to ours.

A new courthouse is under construction across the street from the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego. Because I am in the Hall four days a week, I have been able to watch the building process from windows overlooking the site.

Back in the day — which is another way to say a long time ago, when I was much younger — it was easier to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

My first portable phone was a pair of tin cans and some string. At the time, our regular land line was a multiparty affair uniting at least nine other families, though my memory suggests that system accommodated 20 homes.

Warren Buffett has been the darling of the left-of-center bunch, which praises him for suggesting an increased tax rate for the rich. These people think the wealthy don’t pay enough in taxes to keep themselves, the 99 percenters, from having to pay more for the larger, more intrusive and abusive United States government they espouse.

I didn’t write the following, circulated just before the president began a vacation, but agree without reservation. It was offered by a member of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild and unsigned “so readers would not judge the content by its author.” It is not necessarily a reflection of the position of the guild.

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