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My wishes for 2021


Happy 2021!

We’re all glad to see that wreck of a year, 2020, disappear in the rear-view mirror! We’re also glad to see the orange pig, the catastrophe, the human detritus, the so-called 45th president of the United States, disappear into the trash bin of History, along with his wicked family and followers.

Here are some things I’m looking forward to in the new year.

THE END OF THE PANDEMIC Trump did his best to conceal its seriousness because he wanted to hurt America. As a result of his deliberate incompetence, we’re now looking at the worst economic downturn since the Depression. Still, the pharmaceutical industry has developed multiple vaccines, so we can see light at the end of the tunnel. In typical fashion, the Trump regime has refused to federalize the distribution process, so that far fewer Americans than were expected have been vaccinated so far. But once the Biden administration is in place, we can expect professionals to take over, not the partisan hacks appointed by Trump. Maybe by the summer, we’ll be able to gather again in public places.

PUNISHMENT OF THE TRUMP CRIMINALS Biden still insists he’s not out for retribution. Obama, too. He’s out there plugging his new book and in every interview I’ve seen, he goes out of his way to emphasize that retribution and vengeance are not his preferred way. He understands why Democrats are angry, he says; he knows they want Republicans to pay the price for the truly awful things they’ve done and continue to do. But, he adds, he tries to put his emotions side and ask himself what is best for the country.

Well, that’s fine for Obama to say. I love and respect the guy, but he’s wrong on this. Holding criminals to account isn’t mere “vengeance,” it’s applying justice where justice is warranted. When the Allies held the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, that wasn’t some kind of “emotional” response of vengeance. The world had just witnessed the gravest acts of criminal murder and warmaking in history. To have allowed the culprits to get away with their crimes would have been an insult to every decent instinct, to the notion of law, to world order, to the memory of the murdered. The crimes of the Nazis screamed out for punishment, and punishment is what they got. Granted, the Republicans have not committed genocide. Their crimes are not of that scope. But nobody is asking for them to be hung on the gallows, or to be committed to prison for decades. “Let the punishment fit the crime,” goes the saying. There are a variety of punishments that can fairly be imposed on these Republicans. Fines, shorter prison sentences, public shaming, not being allowed ever again to hold public office…

In fact, that’s what the voters demanded when they elected Biden. Seventy-seven million Americans said loud and clear that they want Republicans to be treated like the wayward brats they are. Democrats went to the polls in the expectation that their anger would be assuaged by Joe Biden. To let Republicans walk away scot-free is unacceptable. The reason that Western Civilization developed a criminal justice system is because humankind understands the need for all people to behave decently, legally and respectfully. Republicans, led by their Fuehrer-in-Chief, continue to commit grave political crimes, including an attempted coup d’état—crimes that pose the greatest threat to America since the Civil War (and, yes, I include the Nazis: our country was never in serious danger from Germany). But America now is in serious danger: from fascism, from dictatorship, from religious tyranny. Unless you’re a total pacifist (and I think most of us aren’t), then you have to admit some things are worth fighting for. And some crimes are worth punishing.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY As the vaccines are given and more people are immunized against the Trump virus, we’ll start re-opening the country. Like everyone else, I’m grief-stricken by what’s happening to our small businesses. It breaks my heart to see the shuttered restaurants and bars in Oakland, many of which will never reopen. I have my own questions about how much of the shutdown was really justified. If large numbers of people are allowed to gather in supermarkets, what’s so bad about letting diners sit ten feet away from each other in outdoor dining establishments? I’ve let my Governor, Gavin Newsom, know that I think he could safely reopen parts of the economy, including the schools. Ultimately, I have to trust the healthcare experts. Unlike Republicans, who don’t believe in science and love to attack expertise, I do trust our doctors, nurses and epidemiological professionals, like Dr. Fauci. So I’m hoping and praying we can reopen the economy as fast as humanly possible.

A GOOD WILDFIRE SEASON Speaking as a Californian, these last several years of record wildfires have been horrifying. So many lives lost, homes destroyed, businesses harmed. We need a break! I hope that 2012 will see the lowest numbers of wildfires in recent history.

A NEW OAKLAND A’S STADIUM AT JACK LONDON SQUARE Poor Oakland has lost the Raiders and the Golden State Warriors, due to the incompetence and uncaring of the Schaaf administration. It’s a dismal record that’s unprecedented for any other U.S. city in losing professional sports franchises. We still have the Oakland A’s—so far. But Schaaf and her friends don’t seem to care if we lose them, too. It would be an unmitigated disaster. Sadly, lots of people in Oakland don’t understand the value of professional sports teams. They believe, wrongly, that the taxpayers support them (they don’t), and that a new A’s stadium would be paid for by the public (if it’s built, it will be entirely with private funds). Lots of folks on the Left in Oakland put pressure on Schaaf to get rid of the A’s, and she has an unfortunate tendency to kowtow to the loudest voices. I give the Oakland A’s ownership great credit for keeping their cool in the face of the absurd hatred they encounter. They’ve identified a lovely spot on the waterfont. I know the area well: I frequently walk there. It’s completely underutilized, a barren expanse of warehouses that contributes nothing to the city. A beautiful new ballpark will revitalize the entire neighborhood and bring much-needed tax dollars to Oakland, and allow my city to enjoy the self-respect of hosting a pro sports team.

Well, those are some of my wishes for 2021! I wish you a happy, healthy New Year!

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