heartfelt yawp, Happy New Year!
An ugly year was finally over. That realization struck with genuine euphoria, for 2004 had been
unbelievably dishonest, catastrophic, and, it seemed, unending.
Two catastrophesone contrived by people, one by nature--pummeled like-minded friends and
relations at years end with the force of body blows
An executive I know in Detroits automotive industry summed up the first one, when he said, I
cant believe we re-elected the village idiot president. OK, thats harsh, but maybe not harsh
enough. After all, it ignores the cruelty, dishonesty and secretive nature many detect in our
president. Still, itll do in a rush.
struck much of coastal Asia the day after Christmas last year.
As I say, those disasters arrived with the force of body blowslaying waste to consolation
offered in Christmas cards--notions of peace and good will on Earth. So, good riddance to
2004I felt the sentiment strongly in the first hours of 2005. It was something to celebrate. By
then, most anything wouldve done.
Of course, that was before Katrina waltzed on-stage and swallowed New Orleans. Before
earthquakes, drought, brushfires and other natural disasters marred 2005. Before torture, deceit,
use of illegal weapons and other corrupt activities made headlines.
signs of stirring. The country was getting smarter. There was hope again. The presidents
approval ratings plummeted. Scandals broke out all overunsavory, yet healthy signs. Suddenly
the Bush agenda was in trouble. Thats why I wont be so euphoric to see this year pass on come
New Years Eve.
After all, 2005 will be remembered as the year Bush lost his bid to reform social security in the
way hed planned, by privatizing and shrinking the program.
It's the year he officially gave up on building a new generation of nuclear bunker busting
weapons (though who knows what might be happening behind the scenes).
It was the year critics managed to derail one Supreme Court nomination and stall another.
The year the Downing Memos became well known enough to make more people than ever
question Bushs official reasons for invading Iraq.
It was the year the Valerie Plame affair finally broke out into open scandal and Vice-president
The year the Senate moved to ban torture and bring us back into compliance with the Geneva
The year the press bothered to report what many had suspectedthat the government was
illegally wiretapping hundreds or thousands of U.S. citizens.