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Articles by Pat Grimes

Seems like every week another public figure weighs in on the issue of childhood vaccinations. This has proven to be a reckless habit, as any opinion quickly earns a firestorm of vilification by those on the other side of the issue.

In our current culture, people are not afraid to strongly disagree on any number of scientific topics. Look at the vehement opposition to the science of climate change or the theory of evolution.

Like society’s tremendous distrust toward authority figures, the cynicism towards science is both baffling and completely reasonable.

According to the Associated Press, Maine State Sen. Eric Brakey has introduced legislation giving his citizens of the choice of wearing seatbelts or not while motoring. In a striking example of the universe expressing an opinion, discussion of the bill took place two days after a 75 vehicle pileup on Interstate 95 injured at least 17 people, a circumstance of timing Brakey described as “unfortunate.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani shared thoughts on President Obama over a recent dinner with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, some business executives, and a few media mavens.  The longtime Republican curmudgeon said this:

"… I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country…”

What we call the media — that peculiar, homogenized information and entertainment product trained on us like a fire hose by mega corporations -- is in a frenzy beating up on Brian Williams.

The anchor of NBC Nightly News has begun a six-month suspension imposed by his employer, an international conglomerate.  It appears Mr. Williams embellished his reporting from Iraq in 2003; now his company's investigation is questioning the accuracy of other stories from his portfolio.

Passing recently through three of the nation’s busiest airports, I could not help but notice the egalitarian nature of the experience.  That is to say, air travel showers difficulty and inconvenience on everyone involved.

The rich, the not-quite-poor, and everyone in between must endure shuffling through crowds, standing in line, listening to repeated announcements about unattended bags over the public address system, and finally being stuffed into the metal tubes that whisk us to our destinations.

As this column is written, the week’s forecast for my hometown shows the possibility of knee-high snow followed by seasonably shivery temperatures, bottoming out one night with a low of minus seven degrees Fahrenheit.

You are likely grateful to not be there.  I know the feeling.

For the moment I blissfully bask in the comparatively balmy temps and sunshine of the South Bay.  Walking through the neighborhood where I am staying, the thought occurs: do my readers appreciate how nice it is here?

The reminders are plentiful. There is a brightly colored robe from the South Seas, his old Olympus digital camera, and a Los Angeles Harbor College sweatshirt. There are a half dozen long-sleeve V-neck pullovers that did not fit him and a few heavy cotton T-shirts in dark colors, sent just “because they were on sale.”There are a handful of snapshots taken in the first few years of my life, and a senior admission ticket stub from the theme park we went to in June. Then there is the brown leather bag I used as a carry-on for decades.

Among the endless stream of outrage brought to us by the news media, last December's news included the long overdue release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA's use of torture during the George W. Bush administration.

The ethos of truth and justice and the vision of America as a shining example in the world emerged bruised and battered in this document.

Many of us have learned to dread the phrase, “some assembly required.”  That is to say, plenty of us know the profound frustration of trying to put something together despite badly written instructions.

How many adult exclamations did my kids learn as I struggled to build a desk, end table, or light fixture using the cryptic guidelines that came in the box packed solidly with poorly marked parts? How many Christmas Eve memories are indelibly etched with intense annoyance at my inability to construct a simple children's play set? 

The calendar says “January,” but even if you didn’t have your datebook handy, you’d know what month it was by the ads in print, on radio, and on television. 

Taking advantage of that familiar first-of-the-year longing to improve, offers for special values on gym memberships, low-fat entrées, and exercise equipment are everywhere. One might also opt to better the self with programs that will teach a foreign language or foster greater professional success.