My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Thoughts On Christmas, The Old Year, and The New Year 

First of all, let me wish you and yours a very Happy New Year--May God Bless you with enough interesting things to keep you awake, but never too many that you can't meet them with Faith and Humor.

I love Christmas. I always get to January 1st a little bit sad--tonight was the first day in about five weeks that the Christmas tree wasn't lit, and tomorrow all the lights will be coming down. That said, this was a grand Christmas season in the BestDestiny world. I think its taken me until this relatively late stage in life to understand what Bill Murray soliloquy-ed about in Scrooged:

it's the one night of the year we all act a little nicer. We smile a little easier. We cheer a little more. For a couple hours out of the whole year... we are the people that we always hoped we would be.

I know its kinda corny, but there you have it. A few children, some growing up, and a re-discovery of the role Faith plays in my life, and once a year I'm like a little kid again. It's really pretty fun.

And then, that puts a wrap on 2007. It was a decent year here at BD--we dropped off a little bit in the frequency of postings, but, hopefully, the quality was little better (which, let's face it, wouldn't be that hard to achieve). The world has seen Iraq get better, the stock market up (Dow Jones up 6.4% for the year), the economy remain solid, Conservatives gaining power in France and Germany, and yet another year without a successful attack on American soil. On the other hand, the housing bubble burst, Pakistan is rapidly descending into chaos, Russia is rapidly regressing, an ally in Australia was voted out, Democrats are in charge here in the US (though they can't figure out what to do with it), Iran is on the brink of something bad, and al-Qaeda seems to have found a new haven in the rugged mountains of western Pakistan. It has been a mixed year for the world, and it feels, to me (who really knows nothing) like the relative quiet of 2007 is nothing but prelude to something big. "The deep breath before the plunge," as one of my favorite movies puts it.

And that leads us to 2008. I guess the most immediate issue will be the elections here in the States--a troubling situation in which it seems to me that four of the six top candidates (Hillary, Obama, Edwards, and Huckabee) are completely unqualified to handle the challenges the nation faces in the near future, much less have the experience or personal traits that would position them to guide us into the future. The other two top candidates have what it takes, in my opinion, but face formidable electoral difficulties to getting elected, and a few of the also-rans may yet make a good case for themselves (I'll have a lot more to say about the election tomorrow) What that leaves, unfortunately, is the real possibility that 2008 could see Americans making a momentous decision about their future, and only being offered choices that virtually guarantee a weak foreign policy stance at the beginning. And those policies only get murkier when you look over the domestic issues agenda. What is shaping up to be the most interesting election in a long time could aso be the least reassuring election in my memory. All of which makes the troubling state of the world an even bigger problem--as if some of the more elder statesmen/women in the world community would step up to lead the free world! What? you think the U.N. will manage the world? Heh. No, it falls to the U.S. to keep the world humming along, unfortunately, and if we go rudder-less for a while, than that has the potential to cause serious systems' failures around the globe.

But I choose to face 2008 with boldness and optimism--I have a major project in the works which will, hopefully, dramatically change the course of my career and my family's fortunes by this time next year; the household has finally settled back down after making room for a new one nine months ago; and, through it all, with all the challenges and troubles out there, God will take us however and wherever He wants us to go. I'm not saying I don't have to do anything 'cuz He's got It; I'm just saying that there's a reason for the way things are going, and even though I don't understand it, I need to be ready to take advantage of any opportunities presented me and prepared to cope with any challenges that crop up. It's actually not too much different from the previous 38 years of my life.

Which, since I'm still here, is why I'm optimistic.

Which, by the way, might be the best possible message for a GOP candidate to start harping on right now. America has survived dangerous times in the world before and come out smarter and stronger--it will do so again; America has survived far greater economic hardship than it is experiencing now, and we've always come out smarter and stronger--we will do so again; America has been far more divided in the past, but has come back together stronger and smarter--it will do so again.

So, while it's easy to dwell on the doom and the gloom, let's leave that to the Democrats. For our part, let's look at the challenges as opportunities to reset the global rule set, and harp on the message that Americans (the people, NOT the government) will meet whatever comes our way and be stronger for it.

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