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Featured Column
Week of 7.17.2006
Thinking about things...
          In March of 1943 President Roosevelt gave authority to create the Manhattan Project, the world’s largest, far reaching and costliest enterprise. The goal of this giant undertaking was to create an atomic bomb before the Nazis did. In July, 1945 Robert Oppenheimer and his group of the world’s greatest scientists successfully exploded the world’s first atom bomb.
 

          If America could create an atomic bomb in the 1940’s, when even the knowledge of the inner workings of the atom was limited, it seems that we are capable, today, of creating automobiles that can operate on some power other than gasoline. There are cars coming on the market that run on half electricity, half gasoline and that’s a great start, but aren’t we capable of inaugurating a Manhattan type project that would produce autos that can run on fuel other than gasoline! I know we can do it. The question is, “why don’t we?”
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           I see where Toyota and General Motors are holding serious talks about merging. If anyone would have proposed this idea a few years ago they would have been given a strong tranquilizer, put into a strait jacket and removed from society. If that same guy would have guessed that General Motors would have 14.2% of the world wide auto sales market with Toyota on its sales’ heels at 13% of the market that guy would have been made a permanent resident of the “funny farm.” Remember when your father and grandfather wouldn’t even consider buying a car made in Japan. Take a good look at the top ranked cars in terms of reliability. Most are manufactured in Japan. Having Toyota and General Motors merge would produce an interesting paradox.
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          If nothing else comes out of this war between the Hezbollah and the Israelis it’s “don’t get the Israeli’s mad.” Mess around with them and the old “Eye for an Eye” adage comes into play. More and more it seems that America’s adage is “Speak loudly and carry a little stick, or maybe a twig.”
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          How could those guys in Boston screw up “The Big Dig” like they did. First thing the government in Boston did was to estimate in 1985 that the whole project would cost 2.5 billion dollars. That’s a lot of digging.
 
          The bean counters missed by 12.5 billion. Y’know, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about some real money!

          Wouldn’t be so bad if the hole worked, but just last week a 12 ton hunk of cement fell on a car and killed a passenger. With chunks like that raining down what Bostonian wants to drive through “The Big Goof.”
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          With all the news about the war in Lebanon I haven’t heard anything about the war in Iraq. Are people still dying there?
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          So, the latest news is that Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giant slugger, may be indicted by the grand jury. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing about the guy. Make a deal with him. He retires immediately, gets out of the public eye, shuts up and the feds drop all charges against him. I don’t even care if he continues to take those pills that make his head so big. 
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          Are we really headed for a war against Syria and Iran? What about that nutso in North Korea? Are we forgetting about Kim Jong-il and his threats? Those resolutions that the United Nations is cranking out don’t seem to carry a lot of weight. Interesting times we are in.
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         I keep hearing more and more about the similarities between Rome and its downfall and the direction in which America is heading. You know, we’re fat, lazy. We don’t do any manual labor, we’re rude. All we care about is driving SUV’s and sticking cell phones in our ears. Let’s stick around for a few hundred years and see if we are headed for our downfall. 
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          Is Dick Chaney as bad and evil as some claim? Is President George W. Bush as dumb as some claim or is he just not a very sophisticated guy – or both? 
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          Our U.S. National debt as of today is $8,421,508,410,796.40. Our debt is growing at the rate of 1.69 billion dollars a day. That means that each citizen’s per capita share is $28.154.78. Is there some skinny guy with his sleeves rolled up, wearing a green eyeshade, sitting in some little, grey room in the White House, punching numbers into an old fashioned adding machine every few minutes, coming up with these figures? We’re talking trillions of dollars here. I’m not going to worry about it. I’ll leave it to my grandson’s great grandchildren to pay it off.
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          Not only, “What would Jesus do?” But, “What would Harry Truman, or Teddy Roosevelt or Abe Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt do” with the mess we have on our hands today?
Thoughts on my mind
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
     
Ron Cruger