Dear New Year 2006:
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, 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 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 by the “mainstream media” and involve, as usual, diversity, multiculturalism, racism, and hate-Bushism. The diversity forces made a stronger than usual effort to have Christ removed from Christmas, but were repulsed in the final analysis, as proven by the desperate efforts made by retailers such as Wal-Mart and Sears-Roebuck to re-hang/re-paint their store signs, changing some variation of Happy Holidays to the traditional Merry Christmas. Economists had predicted at least a partial boycott by Protestants and Catholics alike, but the store officials claimed the original “Holiday” signs had been foisted upon them by low-cost manufacturers in China, where most things are made these days, and naturally reflected communist atheism. Most store head-honchos were not familiar with the second chapter of Luke and simply didn’t know the difference, though some claimed they thought the proper spelling of “holy days” was simply “holidays.”
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, rumored to be lobbying for Independence Day to be renamed Change of Administration Day, 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. 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. These teachers refer to the action in the Middle East as the “Iraqi Internecine Interlude,” since the term war seems to upset students, at least those not in the ROTC, and most students don’t know what “internecine” 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.
The latest mantra for African Americans – REMEMBER NEW ORLEANS – was grandly introduced at the Millions More Movement in October in Washington 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. The new mantra has taken the place of REMEMBER THE ALAMO and REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR as the slogan of choice and all blacks have been asked to greet each other, using it instead of “Gimme five, what’s up, man?” It has been concluded in the investigations since Katrina hit the coast that the poor or blacks did not die in disproportionate numbers to other people, and that the only people who did so (no matter the race) were simply old…just didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t get out. Notwithstanding this revelation, the new mantra, it is rumored, will be used by all democratic candidates in the campaigns of your year, and that Howard Dean of the SCREAM© will scream it in all his campaign appearances, at least until his tonsils rupture or his lungs deflate, whichever comes first.
Still in the “socially” area, 2005 has not been half-bad for SCOTUS appointees, the appointment of John Roberts being instructive, especially in view of the “A” matter, the only actual issue among the women’s organizations and a critical issue for the democrats, whose base they insure. In his appearances before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Roberts practically recited SCOTUS precedents while not having a document or other scrap of paper before him. The JC democrat members, sporting a combined pile of documents weighing nearly a ton, became confused and started asking answers instead of questions and accused Roberts of giving questions instead of answers. It was the best entertainment of the year on C-Span, second only to sessions of the 9/11 Commission in 2004, during which member Ben Veniste set a record for speaking the longest without asking a question or making a point. Member Roemer made some well-prepared campaign speeches (though not staking out an office) and faltered badly in believing anything Richard Clarke had to say. Clarke, of course, admitted to lying in the early part of the Bush administration. In the recent wrap-up session of the commission, the administration was graded as a failure in inculcating the commission’s recommendations (heralded by its members as straight from the Oracle at Delphi) and gloomily predicted more terrorism, though not making much mention of the fact that no attacks have been carried out since 9/11, during which time the Patriot Act has been operative.
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, the virtues of the filibuster, and strategies to win back the government while simultaneously inculcating homosexual marriage. 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. Consequently, expect organizations such as the National Organization of Women and most homosexual/lesbian groups, it is rumored, to insist that SCOTUS nominee Alito represents a threat to domestic tranquility and world peace since he is from New Jersey. This makes no sense, of course, but such is the reasoning these days.
Economically, the nation is in good shape, though the president failed to get Congress to revamp Social Security, not least because democrats want to do that as a majority party resolving the problem by setting the income tax rate at 85% on every worker who makes more than minimum wage and every industry that shows more than a one percent profit. Upon recommendation of Senator Kerry, this will not cover corporations with offices or factories in the Cayman Islands or other foreign locations, especially those making catsup or canned vegetables. This will also allow more spending for such vital things as government operation of all utilities, hospitals, and professional sports. If the presidency and Congress are not won back by 2008, the current strategy is to blame Bush for not doing something about Social Security. Be prepared for mudslinging par excellence in 2006, an election year, as you know. Plans have been made, providing the House goes to the democrats, to impeach the president for either the warrantless wire taps or disturbing the Texas environment by cutting down trees for firewood, whichever seems the more plausible reason. The rumor is that the democrats are preparing a TV ad for January showing a mushroom cloud over a field of daisies, having gotten the idea from some old codger who claimed it worked wonders in 1964.
Best wishes, New Year 2006, and keep your powder dry; don’t throw away your Confederate money; make peace…not war; if it feels good, do it, and good luck!