As a downhill skier, I have always loved the crooner Christmas Carol by Bing Crosby, “White Christmas”:
As far as Christmas 2012, we only had a dusting of the white stuff. But we did have a White New Year’s, thanks to a winter snowstorm from the Great Lakes to the Green Mountains and beyond.
That’s the good news. The bad news was my sister’s family from Michigan was not able to come visit is and ski Vermont after Christmas. They were planning on driving east on December 27th, which was the day of the snowstorm. They would have been driving through the storms in southern Ontario, and New York.
But the other good news is that my wife and skied on December 28th at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT. It seemed that everyone in New England had the same idea and headed for the slopes. They were dreaming of snow, and their dream came true. Although the lift lines and wait times were long, this was good news for Vermont’s economy, which depends on tourism.
Dr. Martin Luther King
On Monday, January 21st, America celebrates both the Martin Luther King holiday and the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. At this time each year, I like to listen to Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech from August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Here are some short excerpts from his speech that still ring true today (plus links to full transcript):
“I have a dream today.” …
“This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning ‘My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!'”
“And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.”
I had just turned 5 years old when Dr. King gave his best known speech. I grew up about 4 miles north of Detroit. Dr. King was assassinated in the year after the Detroit race riot of 1967. While Detroit is a northern city, it had (and still has) echos of the South. Both poor whites and poor blacks from Southern States moved north to work for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other manufacturing companies. Hence, Metro Detroit was and still is a pretty segregated area, although a little less so today. At my high school, out of about 2500 students we maybe had 10 black students. So the Detroit area was as segregated as the South in those days. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, sadly the city Detroit was also the “Murder Capital” of the USA.
May Dr. King’s words and dreams continue on …, until America becomes “a more perfect union”, as President Obama has said occasionally in his speeches.
Gip and Tip
President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill. I’m doubtful whether Ronald Reagan (“The Gipper“) and Tip O’Neill actually had a “dream” of bipartisan cooperation. But together they managed to come together to preserve the U.S. Social Security system in the early 1980s.
Today, Social Security is still with us, not a distant, past dream, thanks to Reagan, O’Niell and other politicians of that era. Maybe it was because Social Security was on the brink of bankruptcy at that time, and they had no other choice but to work together. Their example has been held up recently, in comparison with our current leaders; President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, along with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. Which leads to one of my dreams …
I, the blogger, Ron
I dream of the President and Congress in 2013 working better together, not only on Social Security reform, but on many other issues that are important to the American people and the future of our country. Enough with the “kicking the can down the road” nonsense. Any average American can kick a can, and without the pay and benefits that Congress members, the President and all their staffers make!
But right now, my biggest dream is that we won’t have to hear another news report about a shooting, murder or massacre at a school, church, shopping center, movie theater, etc. I don’t want to hear another news story about innocent people, especially children, losing their life prematurely because some crazy person gets of hold of a gun, whether legally or illegally. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small town like Newtown, CT, or a big city like Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver or Detroit.
Likewise, I dream of not hearing about massacres, car bombings and improvised explosive devices in places like Iraq, Afgahnistan, Syria, or anywhere else. Whether it is homegrown sectarian violence, a military “bad apple” shooting innocent civilians, or a drone strike’s collateral damage, the dream is the same.
To quote Rep. Gabby Giffords: “Enough.”
To quote Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Call me naive, but these are my dreams for 2013 and beyond. God help us!
What is your dream for 2013 and beyond? I welcome you to share your dreams via comments below. Do you have a dream to share?