With dark shadows of uncertainty descending upon the hearts of so many at the conclusion of 2012, one can only hope 2013 will be a year of promise. But even in these dark days, miracles do still happen, especially when people are willing to roll up their sleeves for the cause of freedom.
While Obama moves his fiscal chess pieces toward the inevitable cliff (or more like a boat ramp), and the sad and equally inevitable failed ideas of gun control stain newspapers and online news sites, I would like to take this moment to address America's most generous contributors of time, talent and treasure to charities - conservatives.
LA JOLLA - Happy New Year, everybody, and God bless America.
And so we bid a not-so-fond farewell to the bow of another large unwieldy year as it sinks slowly over the horizon wobbling unsteadily towards the graveyard of memory. And cheers erupt from we folks on shore waving the double-handed "L for loser" sign above our heads. "So long. See ya. Don't let the door slam you in the butt on the way out. And if you got any brothers or sisters, don't give them this address."
BEVERLY HILLS - God bless America, and how's everybody?
The year 2012 was not my most eventful year ever but it definitely made the top ten list. I have to say, the events were mostly all life-affirming. They represented finally reaching the light at the end of a tunnel. I finished phase one of a college experience, married a wonderful man, travelled outside the United States for the first time ever, found a new and better job and moved to my new home. Of all that I left behind, the things I miss most are some very good neighbors and friends, and a really wonderful garden.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot? How 'bout the presidential campaign, the 112th Congress and Newsweek magazine? Journalists usually favor year-end recaps of news but as a public service I'm going to focus instead on the glorious months ahead, in this handy precap of 2013:
Here's my annual list looking at 2012:
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Sure, Paul McCartney can still sing at age 70, but have you taken a good look at his hair? During the concert to benefit victims of Sandy, and a few nights later on "Saturday Night Live," McCartney's locks were positively mesmerizing.
This year, the politically correct gestures of seasonal salutation (Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, etc.), which for too long have served as substitutes for the real thing, have become vacuous, stale and boring. This year, somehow, they seem especially inadequate to express the sentiment we so desperately need to hear at this moment in time.
It's not tougher gun control, stupid.
It's only human nature to want to take action after such a harrowing traumatic event. To do something. Anything, to protect our kids. And make sure that Newtown never ever happens again. Here. There. Anywhere.
HOLLYWOOD - Merry Christmas, everybody, and God bless America.
Journalists often exaggerate by using the phrase "shattered lives."
Obama has failed to help defeat islamists in Syria, leading to the growth of The Islamic State (The Radical Islamist Murderers Formerly Known as ISIS) and fails to define a foreign policy for the U.S.
If you're frustrated by the skimpiness of "fun-size" candy, wait until you hear some "fun-size" songs.
Men might be from Mars and women from Venus, but at least we're in the same solar system. When it comes to politics, liberals and conservatives can't agree on what the problems are much less solutions. We can blame the politicians for not making progress on the big issues of our time, but until Americans share a common truth about what those issues are we won't move an inch.
Since 1998 it has been prohibited by federal law for states and localities to tax Internet access. This policy, known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act, has been extended three times with broad bipartisan support. But it is set to expire again on November 1, and some Senate Democrats appear willing, this time, to allow it to actually expire if they can't use it to leverage an unrelated tax issue. It's a dangerous game that could cost taxpayers billions of dollars and worsen the digital divide by pricing some lower income Americans off of the Internet entirely.
It takes a special kind of jerk to market fear and exploit public ignorance in the midst of a health emergency - and, sure enough, members of this repellent American subspecies are already flapping their yaps.
Get this: Low expectations are the key to happiness.
The problem with a lie-even one that everyone agrees with-is that eventually you can't ignore the truth. Enron can't paper over debt and crashes. The housing bubble pops. Now, as the rush towards using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers turns into a retreat, it might be time to face that standardized tests are a lousy way to hold schools accountable.
More fun than fourteen barrels of flunkies watching our elected officials exit Washington like scared rats streaming out of a sewer to escape Godzilla. And really, who can blame them. Anybody who's ever spent a summer in DC can tell you the climate is real similar to Hell. With humidity. Then again, not sure even Hell has winged insects the size of footstools. It's not called Foggy Bottom because that's the first thing that springs to mind when Diane Feinstein walks away, you know.
The US government's decision to apply more sanctions on Russia is a grave mistake and will only escalate an already tense situation, ultimately harming the US economy itself. While the effect of sanctions on the dollar may not be appreciated in the short term, in the long run these sanctions are just another step toward the dollar's eventual demise as the world's reserve currency.