Friday, December 29, 2017
Godspeed and all that stuff..........
This is my last column...................for 2017!
I’m sure that some readers wish that the preceding sentence ended after the fifth word. Nuts to them.
Some thoughts as we enter the post-Christmas period of quiet time, school vacations, and New Year’s resolutions:
- Might we all dial the rhetorical thermostat down a few degrees in 2018? Yes, I know that it’s an election year and I know that some candidates get carried away about all the “free stuff” they’ll bring to the nation’s table upon their election. Free food, free clothes, free college, free healthcare, free transportation, free tax cuts. Some candidates never reach adulthood. But I have higher expectations of you dear reader, expectations which acknowledge that nothing is free, that someone always pays. The candidates might be crazy. We need not mimic them.
- Just as turning down the furnace thermostat pays dividends, so too would turning down the rhetorical thermostat, thereby creating some healthy space for quiet reflection. Not every member of the political left is a lunatic America-hating Commie anarchist. Not every member of the political right is a Bible-thumping philistine troglodyte. Less screeching, more listening would be a good start. Less impulse, more thinking would be an advance. Basic numeracy, basic literacy, basic history, and a good sense of humor would go a long way in calming our political fevers.
- If you think that 2017 passed in the wink of an eye you are right. And take it to the bank that 2018 will race by even faster. Trust me on this one, it’s a function of age, and once you hit fifty, each year passes by ever more swiftly. The good news is that sunrises and sunsets, once seemingly infinite in number, now take on the preciousness of fine yet dwindling heirlooms. Cherish each one.
- There will be a stretch of time in 2018 when you want to take a hammer to your television set. That stretch of time will begin just before Labor Day and it will end on election day in early November. Steel yourself for the onslaught of political ads---during those weeks devote your time to music, to poetry, to literature, to golf, to fishing, to travel, to anything but politics for those twelve weeks of mindless propaganda.
- Count your blessings. It may be your children or grandchildren. It may be good health. It may be good friends. It may be a great doctor or an attentive caring nurse, it may be a kindly neighborhood cop or a helpful neighborhood fireman. How about those great teachers who push and inspire and excite the young minds in your community? Our bounty of blessings certainly includes the many American men and women who wear the uniform of our armed forces. A blessing oft taken for granted is the simple good fortune of living at this time and in this place which we call home. Americans have already won life’s biggest lottery, for America remains a grand place, a dynamo of innovation and freedom, a playground of opportunity. May it long continue.
- And may this and every one of your New Years be filled with love, peace, health and happiness throughout all your days.
Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
- Finneran: Trump’s Hernia
- Finneran: Somebody Loves Her
- Finneran: Do My Eyes Deceive Me
- Finneran: Wealth
- Finneran: Of Topsfield And Tomatoes
- Finneran: A Few of my Favorite Things…
- Finneran: On Ninkovich
- Finneran: Decisions, Decisions
- Finneran: A Singular Song
- Finneran: Two Fathers, Two Sons, One Dream
- Finneran: Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood
- Finneran: The Big Tweet
- Finneran: Thankful For
- Finneran: An American Soldier
- Finneran: The Abuse of Language
- Finneran: Never Ever
- Finneran: Baker’s Wise Words
- Finneran: Which Lives Matter?
- Finneran: Wisdom From the Deli Counter
- Finneran: Life, Liberty, and All That Stuff
- Finneran: At a Loss for Words
- Finneran: The Emperor Has No Clothes
- Finneran: Grandparents’ Grief
- Finneran: Right There in Plain View
- Finneran: Cardinal Law