May '09 be better than '08
Farewell, 2008. Whatever else can be said about the year, it sure wasn't boring. The gods of the marketplace tumbled and "their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew" as we entered the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Farewell, 2008. Whatever else can be said about the year, it sure wasn't boring. The gods of the marketplace tumbled and "their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew" as we entered the worst recession since the Great Depression. How exciting that the financial masters of the universe have no more idea now of what to do than they did 80 years ago, and that their solution is the same one that didn't work then, either: spend more funny money and try to inflate credit - precisely the behavior that got us into trouble to begin with.
In 2008 we voted for president a member of a minority that has been persecuted, hounded, abused and, in many legal and illegal ways, trampled. That's right: We elected a smoker. Let's hope Laura Bush leaves her ashtrays behind.
Gay rights advocates rampaged against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its role in the successful passage of California's Proposition 8, which restricted marriage to a man and a woman. There have been vandalism and threats of violence to church buildings and members. Blacks in California voted for the proposition by almost a 3-to-1 ratio, which, granted, was only a small percentage of the overall vote. However, the proposition won by only a few percentage points so their vote was critical. Did you hear of gay rights boosters rioting in Watts, or vandalizing black churches? Neither did I. The advocates may be obnoxious, but they're not stupid.
After the awful car accident on South University Drive that took Amanda Leininger's life, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker didn't mumble any evasions or "we'll have to see what the final reports says" or any such subterfuges. He straight out took the burden off Amanda's sister, who was driving at the time of the accident, and put it squarely on the city's shoulders. He probably drove the city lawyers nuts. But what a classy response.
The extended Nelson clan suffered an Iraq war fatality in 2008, as discussed in an earlier column. The young man in question got a motorcycle escort from the Patriot Guard or whatever the group calls itself in that state, when his body was moved home for the last time. I think of him when I hear our president's and vice president's exit interviews. To listen to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's self-justifying claptrap about why we had to lay waste to Iraq, to hear Bush say he'd have to think about it when asked if he still would have invaded Iraq if he'd known there were no weapons of mass destruction, to ponder the millionfold grief that he unleashed for nothing, is to rock the foundation of our belief in the goodness of our leaders and ourselves. God forgive us our bovine apathy and cowardice in
re-electing Bush, and for loving war above our own liberty and children.
A devoted gourmand, I lament the passing of the Royal Fork and Las Vegas buffets in Fargo this past year. Royal Fork was a sentimental favorite. I'm glad we hit the Las Vegas buffet almost as soon as it opened, for it closed in just a few months. Too bad. It was outstanding, and in several ways better than the competition that forced its closure.
Late last year I found and ate a jar of peanut butter that expired Jan. 13, 2001. It was delicious and safe. But kids, don't try this at home without adult supervision.
We're a year older. Are we any wiser? We'll soon have a new president who, like FDR, faces a panicked nation and so will be able to have his way. May 2009 bring us better tidings than the year past.
Nelson is a Fargo postal worker and regular contributor to The Forum's commentary pages. He can be reached at email@example.com