29 December 2008

Random End of Year Thoughts

Getting ready for the new year to drop in, and as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. A few notes at the end of the year, then.

Israel is still in open warfare with its neighbors. Cease-fire agreements don't seem to mean much to enemies which vow to destroy the Jewish state, yet Israel is the one demonized by the "international community". Whatever that is. One wonders if the Israelis have finally had enough and will impose regime change on the Palestinians in Gaza, or if they will bow to "international pressure". Funny how "international" this and that generally seems to side with the autocrat.

Compassionate conservatism, in all its domestic glory, will be put on steroids with the coming of the Obama administration. I fear for the freedom of our people under the guise of soft-sounding terms like "equality" and "fairness". The next four years will be a real test to see if Americans can be talked into happily giving away their individual rights - most notably to liberty from government, as much as that is possible. I fear that we may bow all to quickly under promises of greater days. But I hope that, when faced with real personal limitations at the cost of much higher taxation, that we will bite the hand that feeds once we understand that it feeds us our own flesh, so to speak.

I have found it quite interesting how compassionate conservatism has found it necessary to eat the free market in order to save it. I would have thought that would come after January 20th - and not to save the free market, either. But having the ground prepared for it, Mr. Obama and Liberal-Progressive-Democrats have a precedent for ever more government intervention, thanks to a conservative administration. Pardon me, a domestically compassionate conservative administration.

Before I am taken for joining a Bush-bashing party as he heads out the door, while I disagree with many of his domestic policies, he has kept the US safe for the past 7+ years, and that is no small task. Whereas defense might win championships in football, the best way to win a war is with offense. Mr. Bush has done that - even with all of the mistakes which unfortunately come with waging war. I hope that Mr. Obama keeps us on offense.

Lastly, one thing which has changed this year has been my beloved Chicago Blackhawks. It may be crass to say, but the passing of the elder Wirtz and the club being taken over by Rocky has been a Godsend to Chicago hockey. As I write, the team is on a franchise record nine-game winning streak. They will host the Winter Classic on New Year's Day, and for the first time in a long, long time, Blackhawk fans are thinking playoff hockey with high hopes. It is refreshing; all things renew and grow, if given the right impetus and chance.

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