Dear New Year 2009:
Since it is traditional for each year in the final stages of its existence to address its successor with a recap of happenings on its watch, as well as some suggestions and even prognostications concerning the future, herein is the tradition carried out. A general summary is that the year was little different from most years, complete with occurrences both good and bad, important and trivial, with the judgments concerning each category very subjectively made.
Technologically, the year was unbelievably productive, the most graphic evidence being that motorists, when having cell-phone conversations interrupted as they crash into trees or lamp posts, can now call the paramedics as soon as their airbags deflate, thus often saving their own lives. Since the most advanced cell-phones also determine a missing pulse within ten feet of its assigned body, a message is beamed directly to the nearest mortuary, thus saving everyone a lot of trouble. Cell-phones with digital/screen displays allow dialoguers to see each other, thus making it nearly impossible for one or the other to lie about location, activity, or companions, thus decreasing (or perhaps increasing) the domestic murder-rate. Those using the latest iPods can now contemporaneously listen to music, watch a movie, play a game, check the usual soap opera, send an insult to the appropriate congressman, and vote in Florida, the latter activity guaranteeing against the formidable challenge of voting machines.
Socially, the driving forces have been accommodated/usurped by the "mainstream media" and involve, as usual, diversity, multiculturalism, discrimination, racism, and hate-Bushism. The d/m/d/r/h-B forces made a stronger than usual effort to have Christ removed from Christmas, as, for example, in Washington, but were repulsed in the final analysis, as proven by the Washington governor being attacked by truth and, facing the danger of losing out politically, restoring Christ to Christmas. Most store head-honchos were not familiar with the second chapter of Luke and simply claimed they thought the proper spelling of "holy days" was simply "holidays" and that Rudolph, in any case, was an ordained animal, perfectly acceptable to the mainline denominations, whether gay or straight.
In looking forward to 04 July 2006, I would suggest you keep a watchful eye on the combined law-school faculties of Yale and Harvard, as well as the House of Representatives, rumored to be lobbying for Independence Day to be renamed The Happy Hour, since the term independence connotes a certain anathema to the concept of victim-hood, which is all the rage currently, not least because of its susceptibility to litigation involving all sorts of discrimination and, of course, multitudes of lawyers. The law-people insist that there never was an American revolution in the first place, since both the governments left standing in 1783 were made up primarily of English-speakers (Anglo-speakers in order not to offend the millions of Mexicans now in the country). Moreover, the term revolution, according to the law-faculty ethicists, possesses a sanguinary sense not suited to civilized discourse and intercourse since the shedding of blood is unthinkable for any reason. These teachers refer to the action in the Middle East as the "Iraqi Governmental Adjustment," since the term war seems to upset students, at least those not in the ROTC, notwithstanding that most students don't know what "governmental" means. Also, most law-school students are now women, thus the demand for a sweeter, gentler nation, except in court, of course, for which courses are now designed to teach toughness, how to swear convincingly, and the art of chasing ambulances while wearing high heels. When not visiting his "love-child," former Senator John Edwards is a primary teacher.
The ideal mantra for African Americans and recommended by the ACLU for all Americans – REMEMBER NEW ORLEANS – was grandly introduced at the Millions More Movement in October 2005 in Washington D.C., when the Reverend Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, was recognized as the savior of the race. Claiming that the U.S. government had sabotaged the Lake Pontchartrain levee in order to kill blacks (especially if poor), Farrakhan took over from both the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton as the Numero Uno African American alive anywhere in the world until the latest election confirmed Barack Obama in that position. This mantra has taken the place of REMEMBER THE ALAMO and REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR as the slogan of choice and all citizens have been asked to greet each other, as in 2006, using it instead of "Gimme five, what's up, man?" or "Impeach Bush" (too late for that, anyway). This mantra/slogan, it is rumored, will be used by all democratic candidates in the campaigns of your year, and Howard Dean of the SCREAM© fame will bellow it in all his campaign appearances, at least until his larynx ruptures or his lungs deflate, whichever comes first.
Internationally, the nation may or may not be hated throughout the world, depending upon whether one reads an east- or west-coast newspaper, listens to talk-radio, watches the major networks or Fox News, lives on either coast or somewhere in between. Southerners and evangelicals (not necessarily synonymous) tend to think of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as worthy undertakings, while the Coasters, denominational mainliners, and New Englanders tend to think of United Nations resolutions as edicts directly from the oracle at Delphi. Obviously, the liberal element has been unable to separate the purely domestic from the international and resorts to Deaniac-speak (fast, furious, spontaneous, obfuscatory, largely unintelligible) when pressed for positions on any issues, though "spiritual" liberals (not necessarily an oxymoron) view Obama as the Messiah, who will walk the Potomac instead of Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. Consequently, expect organizations such as the National Organization of Women and most homosexual/lesbian groups to insist that SCOTUS justices Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia represent a threat to domestic tranquility, the pursuit of happiness and world peace since they encourage more American births and less womb-murder. The UN-IPCC and Al Gore have predicted that land will disappear in the near future, so have a boat handy and be sure it has AC.
Economically, the nation is in good shape, though the government is now buying up huge chunks of real estate, the auto industry, and the banks, with more purchases to come. The Fed is printing money fast enough to make things happen, though the word is that it's simply borrowing from China, Japan, and Russia, which have threatened to call in all debts and thus foreclose on the nation. So, in the near future, anything bearing the label "made in China" might have been made in Hoboken. The word is that House Banking guru Barney Frank has suggested selling San Francisco to Monaco for enough to bail out the government and everyone else but that Speaker Pelosi doesn't go along since minimum wage in Monaco is $400 per hour for housecleaners and $600 for baby-sitting grandchildren.
Best wishes, New Year 2009, and keep your powder dry; save your Confederate money; make love…not war; if it feels good, do it; hug a tree, and good luck!