But I am not pleased with some of the hype and outrageous distortions and campaigns that seem to go along with some of those efforts.
In fact, on balance, 2009 has not been one of our best years. In short, 2009 made me tired!
Here are some of the things that made me tired in 2009: I'm tired of coddling terrorists and criminals.
When can we start profiling "likely suspects" when it comes to local criminal acts, national criminal acts and terrorist acts?
Why do we have to feel guilty of suspecting the most likely perpetrators when such acts occur, especially when our suspicions are repeatedly affirmed?
When will our law-abiding citizens be entitled to some coddling of their own?
I'm tired of people lecturing us about the evils of Capitalism and the USA and, in contrast, the many benefits of Socialism, dictatorships, redistribution of our meager earnings and meager nest-eggs for the benefit of national and international organizations and individuals deemed to be more "deserving" than we are.
I'm tired of being afraid to fly the American flag, or to put magnetic American flags on our autos.
I'm tired of being told that we, our children and our grandchildren cannot pray in public, nor use the name of God or Jesus at public gatherings, or on public buildings, nor celebrate any of the Judea-Christian traditions in public, while, in contrast, we must honor the needs, worship practices and laws of followers of Islam.
I'm tired of our city, county, state, and national organizations and officials who continually raise not only their own salaries, benefits, and retirement packages, but also the salaries, benefits, and retirement packages of other public sector employees far beyond the benefits of comparable private sector employees, while the rest of us cannot make ends meet, or even find a part-time job.
I'm tired of public agencies and departments that seem incapable of properly training personnel and of auditing their own organizational entities for efficiency, proper controls of income and expenses, and sound, frugal business management.
I'm tired of monstrous structures that are built to the curb in Palo Alto to give us more of an "urban feel."
I'm tired of Palo Alto "Public Art" that is far too expensive and extremely ugly.
I'm tired of continuously witnessing 10 or more years of the "Palo Alto Process" for each new project, ultimately leading to nothing but dense housing and eventual blight with no big supermarkets or decent new convenience stores within the boundaries of Palo Alto, with the exception of the one and only new Trader Joe's.
I'm tired of the two ugly stepsisters, i.e., Palo Alto, and Menlo Park, demanding that Stanford should do all of their work for them and pay for it through the nose for the privilege of doing so.
I'm tired of not being able to celebrate with our extended family around a nice warm fire, or to charcoal grill our food, because we must comply with Clean Air Days that just happen to fall on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other traditional holidays.
I'm hoping for better times in 2010. For example, why can't we have more projects like the one at 1705 El Camino Real that converted the very ugly old Vic Tanny Gym into a very beautiful structure?