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Choices

Columnist: Norman Rosinski
November, 2015 Issue
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Norman Rosinski
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The overarching question before us is, which of the competing visions for America's future will prevail?

 
Welcome to the November Retail issue of NorthBay biz magazine. Also included in this month’s issue is a special report on Employment/Jobs. Please enjoy all the insightful stories, special features and columns in the area’s only locally owned, formerly glossy business publication—NorthBay biz.
 
I’ve some news to share regarding Julie Fadda Powers, who’ll be leaving the magazine after more than a decade as its editor. Julie’s everyday wit and charm will be sorely missed, as will her countless contributions to the editorial integrity of the entire magazine.
 
Julie did it all while serving in her official capacity as editor. First and foremost, she’s an excellent writer taking on story assignments out of a personal passion or simply because no other writer with a particular expertise was available. She often took the lead in story idea generation along with her normal duties—copy editing, fact checking, proofing and, in her spare time, photo assignment duties and coordination. Juggling the differing demands of three or four issues at a time, each in a different phase of production on the way to its eventual destination (the printer) is an art. Julie was a master. She will be missed. There’s some good news, however: She’s agreed to continue writing for NorthBay biz as a freelancer.
 
Every business, in the end, is only as good as the people it employs, and we’re extremely fortunate to have Alexandra Russell as our managing editor, who’s been with us for more than nine years and is as gifted as Julie in the skills required to continue to deliver editorial excellence for which the magazine has become known. I’m very pleased to announce Alex as our new editor. We’ve also recently hired two excellent new associate editors, William Rohrs and Sarah Treseler. I’m confident the magazine will continue to grow in depth and quality under the leadership of our new editor.
 
I know, I know—we still have to muscle our way through 13 more months before the next presidential election, but it’s time the debate for the hearts and minds of voters moved from personal trivia to the more substantive issues facing the nation. Enough already about physical appearance and soliciting rivals to comment on one another’s silly remarks from days gone by.
 
The overarching question before us is, which of the competing visions for America’s future will prevail? Everyone watching the debates and, ultimately, voting cares about the direction of the country. Issues need to fuel the debate.
 
Here are just a few of the critical choices facing the country—and each of us—as we decide which presidential candidate to vote for in the next election.
 
Do you favor:
 
• A retreating America on the world stage content to “lead from behind,” or an America that takes the lead and maintains “peace through strength” for itself and its allies?
 
• Government policies that undermine achievers and mandate equality of outcomes through redistribution, or policies that insist on equality of opportunity?
 
• Immigration policy of virtually open borders or controlled immigration that encourages assimilation?
 
• An America of stifled growth impeded by heavy taxation and overregulation that’s described as the “new normal,” or an America unencumbered by government and instead encouraged toward robust growth and job creation?
 
• An America that creates and nurtures an endless stream of victims through identity politics or an America that aspires to gender and color blindness?
 
• The continuation of government-run health care with its nonstop rising costs, reduced quality of care and limited choice, or a return to free market health care solutions?
 
The contrast between these competing visions of America’s future have never been as clearly defined as they are today. The choice is ours next November.
 
Let’s end on a lighter note with the Three Engineers story (aka modern problem solving).
 
A mechanical engineer, a systems engineer and a software engineer are in a car driving down a steep mountainside when the brakes fail. The driver desperately pumps the brake pedal, trying to control the speeding car around the cliff side turns, while the passengers try not to panic. As the car hurtles toward an impossible corner, the driver spots an escape route into a hedge and the haystack beyond, where the car grinds to a surprisingly safe stop. The three engineers get out, shaken but relieved, to take turns assessing the situation.
 
“Hmm,” says the mechanical engineer, “It looks like the brake line was leaking—let’s repair the split, bleed the brakes and we should be able to get on our way.”
 
The system engineer thinks a while and says, “Maybe we need to contact the manufacturer and the dealer to confirm exactly what the problem is.”
 
The software engineer slowly climbs into the driver’s seat and, motioning the others to join him, says, “How about we just get back on the road and see if it happens again?” (My apologies to software engineers everywhere.)
 
That’s it for now. Enjoy this month’s magazine.


 

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