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My Dear Grandson -- What I Wish for You and Your Generation on the Occasion of Your 16th Birthday

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That it will be more important to assure that there is sufficient food in every kitchen rather than a gun in every house.

That persons will stop saying climate change is a myth while icebergs are melting, and fires, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, cyclones and rising temperatures are sweeping the world -- and that something be done about it.

That those who decry the role of the federal government will stop blaming it for not doing enough.

That politicians will stop bickering and place the public good over their own tenure and be more concerned with what is good for the country rather than what is good for themselves and their Party.

That there will be commentators (as we had like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite), who speak the truth, rather than people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck who speak only anger, fear and hatred.

That the rights and feelings of gays and lesbians, African-Americans, Muslims and all minority groups who suffer from the ravages and daily insults of prejudice and discrimination will be recognized.

That interspersed with the music that you now love, you will find the opportunity to experience a ballad that will touch your heart and a performer whose popularity lasts more than a few months.

That in political campaigns the candidates will talk about what they have done right rather than what their opponents have done wrong.

That you will never go hunting with Dick Cheney.

That money will not be the prime factor in deciding who gets elected and who does not.

That political campaign ads will not be filled with lies and half-truths and that their backers will disclose who they really are.

That those who purport to support the rights and freedoms of the Constitution will not prove their dedication by seeking to limit the rights and freedom of others.

That instead of the decades of talk about the need to end reliance on foreign oil and substitute clean energy, something will actually be done about it.

That there will be a tax system in which it is impossible that a low level employee of a company earning billions will pay more in taxes that the company itself.

That it be conceded that retaining huge taxes cuts for the very rich cannot be reconciled with reducing the deficit.

That displaying one's underwear bottoms will cease to be an acceptable fashion statement.

That during Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominees, Senators will actually ask questions rather than make speeches; and the nominees will actually answer the questions posed.

That the public and Congress realize that most illegal immigrants are not here to commit crimes, but rather to feed their families, and that a reasonable way must be found to permit them to continue.

That those who rail against the cost of government programs will acknowledge the hypocrisy in accepting their benefits

That going to war and risking the lives of young Americans like you and killing innocent civilians in the process will be a last resort.

That rather than spend excessive billions on wars, national defense and nation building, those excess moneys will be spent on the care, feeding, housing, education, employment and transportation of our own citizens.

That efforts to reduce our nuclear capability and that of others will not be viewed as a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of good sense.

That the killing of innocent people in the name of religion will come to an end.

That use of the 60 vote cloture rule in the U.S. Senate will either end or will be used sparingly and nobly, and not merely to defeat and frustrate the party in power.

That exonerating the innocent will become a rarity because they will not be wrongly convicted in the first place.

That, of course, you will not drive impaired or texting or doing anything else while driving of which we have not yet conceived.

That people will allow more than a three-second interval before re-checking their iPhone for messages.

That you do what you believe in and believe in what you do.

That you will respect and appreciate what your parents have done for you.

That you will realize how much your grandparents love you and how much they wish for your happiness and peace in the world.

Happy Birthday,

Your Grandfather

P.S. My final wish is that Sarah Palin never be President of the United States during your lifetime!