Adieu to 2006

Adieu to 2006. I am tempted to add “and good riddance”. To be charitable, it can’t have been all that bad. Parting thoughts before we usher in the infant 2007 year:

  • Saddam is dead. Generally, I’m not keen on capital punishment. There’s just no way the wrong guy was hung in this case. May the Iraqi people somehow leverage this event into a period of comparative calm, stablility and dialog.
  • As the US finally begins to re-think its Iraq premises, the world watches. This is just so important. We have simply never had any luck trying to micro-manage the future of other smaller nations by force. Maybe there’s a good reason for that. It’s time for the world, and the Iraqis in particular, to step up to the plate and say, “we can do this.”
  • Since the November elections, America is suddenly a whole lot more bipartisan than it was. Politicians of all stripes will try to buck the will of the electorate when they can, but this doesn’t look like one of those times. We need to roll up our shirtsleeves and clean our own house. That, I think, is the message the electorate sent to Congess and the Administration in November. Let’s hope it works.
  • The economy has the outward appearance of being healthy and robust. Given the monstrous inflationary pressure of war deficits, how much of this is just riding that crest?
  • There were no memorable net advances in civil liberties and safeguards for minority rights in 2006, but the nation did not backslide as badly as feared, either.
  • The Space Shuttle flies again, the ISS remains safe and secure, the Hubble Space Telescope will be getting long-needed repairs, and the Mars rovers continue to send back stunning photographs chock full of scientific discoveries. Basic science remains strong, and an exciting source of news.
  • I suffered an immense personal loss in late 2005, so 2006 has been a somewhat painful healing period for me. Even though this has been going on for over 40,000 years, when it happens to us it does color our perceptions of everything around us. Hopefully 2007 will help me embrace new adventures, and re-embrace old friends and things I always enjoyed doing.

A very happy New Year to you all, and best wishes for a happy and rewarding 2007.

Alex

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