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Hope in the new year Carlos R. Davalos | Tue, Jan 07 2014 12:00 PM

New Year’s resolutions are as useful as a motivational speech from the head coach for the 2-14 Houston Texans of the NFL: You can huff and puff all you want but eventually you just need to accept your shortcomings and deal with who you are.

Besides, if you really are going to change, why wait until the new year to make your life better? Where’s the sense in that?

In an effort to preserve a fragile ego I’m making new year hopes rather than resolutions. This way the pressure to succeed is off me and the failures belong to someone else.

I hope all or some of the remaining defendants in the Sweetwater/Southwestern College corruption case go to trial.

That’s an easy wish for me to make. I’m not the one facing incarceration, fines or probation. And I’m not the one already shelling out money to pay for defense attorneys.

But something about the largest corruption case in the county’s history getting reduced to plea bargained misdemeanors feels incomplete.

Prosecutors indicted defendants on a tsunami of felony and misdemeanor charges. But so far most of the accused have settled their cases based on a fraction of  the charges against them.

Meanwhile, the presumed innocents have had their lives upended and their reputations tarnished while claiming they’ve done nothing wrong.

Somewhere there is a disconnect. If prosecutors felt the defendants were guilty of all the crimes they alleged, why settle? And if the defendants believe they did nothing wrong, why give in?

The nuances of courts and the justice system are, at times, too sophisticated for me to grasp so maybe I’m best off hoping the justice system, in the end, just gets it right.

I hope all the elections this year feature real competitions. I hope there are a variety of legitimate contenders for each open or occupied seat and that each person who is applying for the job is scrutinized thoroughly. I hope we don’t see the same faces running in lopsided races because of uneven fundraising efforts. Mostly I hope more people vote in this election than last.

I hope the South County attracts more jobs of consequence to its neighborhoods. Retail and  small business gigs are nice for local neighborhoods, but I hope there are large-scale employers who can offer 40-hour work weeks, benefits and retirement packages that can see the value of setting up shop in this region.

I hope the Chargers win the Super Bowl. I don’t care for the team. But the brief episodes of happiness and hope the team’s success provides fans is heartwarming.

While I’m at it, I hope the U.S. men’s soccer team wins the 2014 World Cup.

And that dogs and cats learn to communicate using human speech.

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