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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Happy New Year, Anyway

Uploaded: Dec 30, 2012
Well we have come to the end of another year and the start of a new one. So far in 2012 we survived the Mayan apocalypse and soon we shall find out if we will survive the fiscal cliff. I'm not too worried about it.

I've lived 70 years and every decade has had its political disasters, but most people either don't know recent history or have mass amnesia. They believe the past we've lived through was better than the uncomfortable present and unknown future.

Sorry to burst your bubble but the past was not the "Good old days." In the thirties we had the Great Depression. The 40's we fought in WWII. The 50's seemed benign, but we had a "policing action" in Korea which still hasn't ended.

If George W. Bush wanted to start a war, he should have invaded North Korea when Kim Jong-il was messing around with his missile and atom bomb programs. Now Kim Jong-un upped the ante by successfully launching a rocket that could carry nuclear warheads to California.

Of course there's no oil or much of anything else in North Korea except starvation, torture, and Weapons of Mass Destruction, everything we were told was in Iraq but wasn't (Well maybe torture, but not nearly as much).

In the '60's we had race riots, the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The 70's was the hippy era, with drug addiction on one end of the social spectrum and Watergate on the other. In the '80's we had the AIDs epidemic and Reagan (Nancy in my opinion not Ron), elevated greed to a virtue, which of course lead us into the predicament we are in now.

The 90's saw President Clinton impeached, which was the Republican's revenge for Nixon's resignation over Watergate. The 2000's ushered in W. Bush's warmongering, cronyism, and incompetence. Why do Republicans only question President Obama's spending and waste and not the billions of dollars that went missing in Iraq under Bush II?

Now we have a recession, and Tea Party politicians who want to return to the 18th Century, and a President who can't get much done because of right wing obstructionism and his own limited leadership abilities. So how bad could 2013 be after this happy recap of past predicaments?

Here's a New Year's song I wrote around 1968. I updated it for this blog. I don't have the music to post and my singing isn't good enough to record it, so just read it as a lyric or a greeting card verse.

Happy New Year, Anyway

Wow another year has passed,
Time is going much too fast,
Seems like we just had the last,
but Happy New Year, Anyway.

Sing a verse of "Auld Lang Syne."
Drink a toast with last year's wine.
Can't avoid it, so resign
to Happy New Year, Anyway

Time Square, no care, singing in the street.
Day breaks, snowflakes, Oh, my aching feet!

Watch out for the Fiscal Cliff!
It makes our future one big "IF."
Still I'll sing just one more riff
of Happy New Year, Anyway

Tick tock, ball drop, counting all the way.
Midnight is right, when it's New Year's day.

Now we're coming to the time
To end this year and this rhyme
So to you I'm saying, "I'm
for Happy New Year, Anyway."

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 3, 2013 at 9:57 am

Your quote: "Sorry to burst your bubble but the past was not the "Good old days." In the thirties we had the Great Depression. The 40's we fought in WWII."

Sorry, Roz, but I'm older than you and that isn't my past or yours. It was our parents' past. I remember my dad coming home from WWII, my mother's victory garden, ration stamps, and not being able to get new tires. Yeah, the 50s were fairly benign and I really enjoyed them except for the A-Bomb drills and the Cold War. I enjoyed the 60s in spite of the turmoil of Vietnam which was a pretty bleak time. I played the guitar and knew all the protest songs in the 60s and 70s. I also got two degrees, taught school, got married, had children, and had all the problems young families had.

Never at that time did I feel like the American Government was incompetent or an embarrassment in the rest of the world, as I do today. Philosophically, I'm neither a Republican nor a Democrat as those parties stand today. I also do not equate hard work, risk, and success with greed. Where I do find serious fault with our whole political system today is the total lack of personal responsibility. Everything bad that happens is always somebody else's fault, be it political (Hillary and Benghazi) or drug addicted teen. and because it's someone else's fault, there should be compensation.

MLO - Putting her soapbox back under the bed now.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jan 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


Thank you for your always wise and welcome comments. The Thirties were before my birth but I grew up watching a lot of old movies from the '30's, so I feel like I know about it. My mother graduated High School in 1930 and went to college and got married in 1936 and my brother was born in 1940. So I know about the thirties from her too.

Our political climate is probably similar to the '30's. FDR did not have smooth sailing from his Republican opposition, but that was before the Dixiecrats switched from being Democrats to Republicans; so the Country may have had the same philosophical divisions but not as starkly political.

I wish we could have a multi-party system like other countries. Our minority parties, even the Libertarians which is gaining more support, are still to marginal to have any influence in government. We need to break this "winner take all" two party system if we want to get any real compromise for getting things done.


Posted by Mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm


One thing the 30s didn't have, was the over-exposure of the biased media we have today which has an enormous effect on public opinion.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jan 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


They didn't have media overload the way we have it today where everyone has their own blog and Facebook page to rant in, but they certainly had biased media from William Randolph Hearst to Father Coughlin.

One of the great plays of 1930 was "The Front Page," about the double dealings of newspaper men in getting and slanting a story. The movie version from 1939, "His Girl Friday," switched the male reporter's gender to female and cast Rosalind Russell (I was named after her), in one of her best roles.

Jimmy Stewart's classic filibuster scene at the end of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" was all about how the media mogul in Stewart's state broadcasts negative stories about him so all the letters he receives oppose him. The ending is almost "deus ex machina," by having the senior Senator, Claude Raines, commit suicide because he can't stand being connected to these dirty crooks.


PS I don't know why if someone (me in this case) opposes "greed" that somehow it means I equate "hard work, risk, and success with greed." No I do not equate people who EARN their money, however much or little it is, with greed, and did not say that anywhere in my blog above.

I said that during the Reagan Administration greed was elevated to a virtue, which means that anyone who isn't rich must be lazy or incompetent or on the dole or worthless because they are worth less than people who are rich.

Many people work very hard for minimum wage, but are maligned for needing food stamps or medicaid. People who attack poor people on assistance have no idea how hard many of these people work in menial, low paying jobs.

Sure there are cheats, but the person who cheats for $50 is nowhere as bad as the person who cheats for $50M. Carly Fiorina was fired from HP for botching her job, but she left with a $21M severance package and then tried to buy a political office with it. I supported Tom Campbell in that election, a capable University Professor who didn't have enough money to compete with Fiorina in the primary but would have been more competitive with Boxer in the general election.

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