I Sit And Look Out: Not all 2007 wishes have come true

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Two years ago at this time, I was at the beginning of what turned out to be 51 days in the hospital and rehab. But before I went into St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, L.I., on Christmas Eve morning in 2007, I had written a column on resolutions for Jan. 3, 2008. On Dec. 26, Elaine sent off that column to the editors at TimesLedger Newspapers.

I did not think of that column until recently, when I decided to see what I had hoped for and how my wishes turned out. This, then, is a review of that column and its aftermath.

We have set dates for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Will it work?

We have put more “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan and at least hinted at withdrawal dates. Will it work?

It is doubtful whether we have provided our veterans with “the best and speediest care when needed.” My Veterans Day column two months ago touched on our failures in this regard.

Have we made certain that those who lived or worked near Ground Zero have received the proper care for any ailments they have suffered as a result of the murders on Sept. 11, 2001? The jury is still out on that.

Are we leading the fight against climate change and global warming? Some progress seems to have been made in Copenhagen, but do we have a proper energy policy to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

Have we improved the chances for proper health care for everyone in this country? Some kind of effort in this direction will have passed by the time you read this.

We have made no progress on passing immigration legislation that is “humane, efficient and enforceable.” When will we get around to doing so?

We are making good progress in making New York City an environmental leader, especially with the effective MillionTreesNYC campaign.

We are making some headway to ensure that all levels of government are responsible for energy conservation and proper greening practices. But are we fully committed to protecting our national forests and other public treasures?

We seem to have made little progress on changing our chaotic tax structure. The gap between the rich and the poor may be larger than ever. Are there plans to make this more equitable?

We have done little or nothing to cut down on automobile pollution in Manhattan.

Are we really helping homeowners to keep their homes in the face of the Great Recession, which is not over?

I wrote this last “resolution” in late 2007: “To not allow fear of terrorism to destroy the democratic fabric of our nation. Fear has become too common in our political life. As FDR said, we must not let it paralyze us.” I leave it to you to determine how far we are along on this resolution.

Much has changed since the end of 2007; much has not changed. In a democracy, it is up to the people to make those changes which will help everyone.

Happy new year!

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