This is not just a Weekend Wrap-up, but a Year-End Wrap-up. :-)
Basically, this will be like a Weekend Wrap-up, but for the whole year. I suppose that I'll be making this an annual event. Why the heck not? Onward!
War In Iraq: What to do?
The war in Iraq became a real booger for Bush and the GOP. It basically cost the GOP the election. But I'll get back to the GOP in just a bit. SOMETHING needs to be done, but what? The usual clueless response from the left is that we need to pack up and leave right now. Somehow, they seem to believe that leaving will cause some sort of reset button to be activiated, and things will return to the way things were before. This needs to be told to them as many times as it takes: Things Ain't Going Back the way they were, so shaddap about that already.
But - what ARE we gonna do? Leaving right now would be disastrous. We removed the power structure and substituted it with ourselves, so we are stuck. There is no alternative but to ride this out, because when we became the power structure there, we took the responsibility upon ourselves, and we can't leave until Iraq is ready to take care of itself. It may have indeed become a quagmire there, but it's OUR quagmire.
So what's my solution to this? In a nutshell, our leaders need to stop being so short-sighted here and stop seeking short-term political gains. We need to look at the big picture. We need to put the good of the Iraqi people, the good of the U.S., and the good of the world first. The issue of short-term political gains need to drop out of the picture completely. Iraq needs from us an unwavering message of what we plan to do there. No more of this "We're leaving!" and "We're staying!" We need to stay there and finish the job - even if it means sending in more troops in the short term and possibly long term, but we need to get this done. Yes, it will be costly, but not as costly as leaving now, and having to go back later to clean up a mess that spiraled out of control because we chose to cut-and-run from our responsibilities. We the people need to hold our leaders accountable for this, and we can't let up until they do this right.
The GOP pretty much got what it deserved in the '06 election. They deserved to lose power, because they failed to live up to what they were elected to do time and time again. Will they learn their lesson in time for the '08 elections? Whom they select for their presidential candidate will tell us everything. In other words, we're going to have to wait and see.
I don't know if the Dems necessarily have anything to celebrate, for they got into power not because they said or did anything deep, profound, moving, or inspirational - rather, they got in because they aren't the GOP. However, they could use this chance to do things right. And they can do that by not listening to the extreme left in their party so much. They need to stop being so beholden to the left wing special interest groups, and start being beholden to the people that got them elected. Like the GOP, whom the Dems select will speak volumes on whether the Dems have learned their lesson from the '06 election. But I will say this: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton aren't it. Same for Howard Dean.
Celebs gone wrong: who's to blame?
From Mel Gibson to Michael Richards to Britney Spears to Rosie O'Donnell, it's been a bad year for celebs. It's hard to say what's worse though: The previous practice of the media protecting celebs' reputations by hiding what probably should have been brought to light, or the current practice of printing all the lurid details of a given celeb's life. There really are instances of the media giving "too much information". Perhaps that the media seems to have no more limits or standards on what it will report is the problem here. But what would we prefer: To have the media cover up too much including what we should know, or to have the media report everything - even what we don't need to know? Why does it even have to be either/or? Surely some sort of balance can be struck here. Apparently though, learning how to make such judgment calls has become a lost art.
What a year for the local sports teams! In order:
Dallas Mavericks: So close - OH so close! Knocked down the first two games of the championship series, and then they lost it. Auuggh!! In short, what the Mavs need to do is this: the sooner they go back to the championship, the better - especially right now while we still have basically the same core team and coaching staff that got us there last season. Get it done!
Dallas Cowboys: Getting T.O. was a mistake. Fortunately, Tony Romo has given us hope. Sure, he's had a bad game or two, but even Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman had their bad days, so I say, give the guy a chance. I'd rather hear about Romo than about the latest chapter of the T.O. soap opera anyway.
Texas Rangers: The season went according to script: Did well in the first half, then fell apart in the second half. The only new thing to mention here is the trend that takes place when Buck Showalter leaves a team. Whenever Buck leaves, the following season, that team has won the World Series. In other words, We're going to the World Series!
Bowl Championship Series: It still stinks, and here's why: Teams like TCU are criticized because they never play 'better' teams - which is generally defined as 'teams from a BCS conference'. Well, they can't show what they can do, because the way the BCS is rigged, they never get the chance to play them! Instead, TCU plays in bowls against teams that don't really show what TCU could do. It's time to have a playoff system, because the BCS system is robbing the fans of the traditional American drama of the underdog rising to the top. Where's those darn Democrats when you need them?
TV still stinks - except for one show
I know it can't be just me who thinks this, but I think that a lot of stuff on TV nowadays is crappy. Well, except for one show. I've been watching "Heroes" to the extent that I used to watch Star Trek. My favorite character is Hiro Nakamura, who's taken to his time-affecting powers like a little kid with a new toy. Peter Petrelli, however, is a close second, because of his unique power-mimicking ability. The show ended for the year earlier this month, and it will start up again on January 22nd (I think). I can't wait!
Family traditions for New Year's Day
Way, way back in the day, we would stay up until midnight. On the next day, we would have tamales. In later years, the meal became lasagna from this one place that made it SO good. We also played "the last game of the season" of our annual traditional family football games. Apparently, the beating and bruising from the previous week wasn't enough, and we were gluttons for punishment. In recent years, though, we haven't gotten together at all. The plain and simple fact is that the bigger families get, the more they grow apart, and that's exactly what's happened to us. It's why we must enjoy the times we do have together. Back then, though, I didn't have nephews and a niece, so now there's a new group to make memories with. The cycle starts all over again, in other words, with a new group of people.
I've been ferociously at work, creating new blogs for my artwork as well as making a MySpace page and a ComicSpace page. I am aiming for the end of January to have it all up and started. I shall be keeping you all updated. The recently deceased (and may he rest in peace) James Brown was once known as the "hardest working man in show business". I want to be known as the "hardest working man on the Internet". :-)
Maybe someone can answer something that I've always wondered: What's "buffalo" about "buffalo wings" and "buffalo snow"? I don't see the connection. Is the usage of "buffalo" referring to the bison or to the city? Just curious.
On a final note...
Now I can wish you good folks something that won't cause someone to get their panties in a knot. I wish you folks a Happy and prosperous New Year. In case you always wondered what the lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" were, here ya go (be sure to grab someone to dance with):
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
And surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
In case you're wondering more about that tune, here's the Wikipedia article on it.
Have a great year, folks! It's been fun writing for you in '06! I shall certainly be back in '07!
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