There is a saying we hear every now and then, that goes, ‘if it wasn’t for bad news, there wouldn’t be any news at all’. Lately there has been plenty of news and it has been all bad!
We start the year with the news of the stocks being down and gas prices going up. December retail sales are down and unemployment is up. The housing market, well we all know the sad state of affairs the housing market is in. Riots in Pakistan and riots in Kenya. The Attorney General is going to investigate the CIA for the destruction of torture tapes.
Yes sir, there is plenty of news going around and all this news creates a sense of fear, apprehension, and uncertainty as we look toward the future. We worry about our jobs, will we have one? We worry about our businesses, can we survive? We worry about the cost of living, how will we keep up? And for those with adjustable mortgage rates it is a question of losing their home.
In times like this, and there haven’t been that many, we look to our government, our political leadership, and the President to find a way to stem the tide of bad news. Do you feel confident with the Bush administration to stem this tide? We don’t.
For the working man the Bush administration has done little to instill confidence with the economy. This administration has been about big business and profit making. President Bush did not want to step in when California was going through the deregulation pains with the energy companies manipulating the market he allowed the state to teeter on the verge of bankruptcy. In fact Vice President Dick Cheney had a hand in pressuring federal energy regulators to conceal evidence of widespread market manipulation by energy companies during the California electricity crisis in 2001.
Then there is the cost of the war, billions upon billions of dollars are being spent fighting the war in Iraq. Last time we noticed the bill was something like $200 million a day and that is a low estimate. The Department of Defense has put the price tag for the war on terror at $609 billion dollars. Couple in with this the lack of accountability as to where the money is going. In the meantime companies such as Halliburton are raking in record profits off the war.
Then there is the fact that President Bush is serving his last year in office, a lame duck Presidency with the public support for this president at an all time low.
The news is bad but America did not become the greatest country in the world by allowing bad news to become the norm. As we usually do we find a way and the leadership to turn these economic hard times into times of prosperity once again and good place to start is in re-examining our priorities in regards to the war on Iraq.
The Good News
We hate to start out the New Year with nothing but negative news. There has to be some fun and levity in life to give us a break from all the hardship. So in regard to good news thank goodness for the San Diego Chargers.
Here we are once again starting the New Year and the Charges for the second year in a row are headed for the playoffs. This weekend at home the Charges will play the Tennessee Titans in the first round.
Last year the Chargers were in the same position with high expectations. They had just completed a 14-2 season and almost everybody expected them to waltz through to the Super Bowl. That was until they bungled a sure victory against the New England Patriots with some costly mistakes which lead to victor for the visiting Patriots. The Chargers didn’t even get past the first round.
This year the expectations were just as high with, once again, with many picking the Chargers to be an elite team and, for sure, make their way to the Super Bowl this year.
Expectations were set a little too high for this year what with a whole new coaching staff coming in. The season got off to a rough start after their initial victory of the Chicago Bears then reality struck with the Chargers losing the next three games starting with the 38-14 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots, once again.
But the defeats and the struggles made this team stronger as the season wore on. The Chargers would only lose twice more the rest of the season finishing 11-5 with six straight wins. The players seemed to find an inner strength; they no longer needed motivational push that they once depend upon from the fiery/emotional coaching of Marty Schotten-heimer the last few seasons.
When the going gets tough the players have to learn to depend on themselves and their teammates to pull out a win, in particular when the playoffs start. The Chargers faced adversity and found that inner strength, and most people point to the team meeting at which LaDainian Tomlinson stood up and challenged the players to make the sacrifice necessary to win. Since that time the Chargers have been winning.
If the Chargers do win this Sunday it will be because they believe in themselves and that now, after last year’s defeat, they know what it takes to win a playoff game.