New Year's Eve, 2010

 And so, the minutes and seconds tick inexorably towards midnight, and the start of the New Year, 2011. Can any of us say that we are sad to see 2010 go? The economy continued to stumble on, not really moving in any direction except forward. If it were a patient in a hospital, it would have been declared brain dead, because it has flat lined. Unemployment hovers near double digits. In May, we had the start of the worst environmental disaster to hit the Gulf in memory.  New Orleans was written off again, as were other cities and towns on along the gulf; but, somehow, they persevered.  It is hard to destroy these people, who have seen so much disaster in the past decade. We had the tragedy of Haiti to contend with, which we are STILL contending with, despite the public's short memory. We had the earthquake in Chile in February, more tragedy in a world that has seen more than it's share in the past year. We pull together to help and give aid and comfort to these areas and, somehow, the weary world pulls together, if only for a short time. We had the miracle of the miners trapped for such a long time in that mine in Chile. Just when everyone thought all was lost... a miracle.. all were alive. Again, the world pulled together. NASA designed the capsule that pulled them out, and an American company drilled the hole that enabled them to be pulled out. Somehow, America was the unsung hero. Yet, we are still despised in many places. 
 Our government seemed so inept that the voters sent them a message in November: Stop the partisan crap and get your act together. It wasn't just a repudiation of the current administration's policies; it was a message to both parties. Somehow, at the end of the year, some work that benefits the people got done. 
 We still have a long way to go. It didn't take us long to get from a surplus to a staggering deficit, just a couple of years of crazy spending policies. It will take us decades to get out of it. The debt to China must be paid down. But I have faith in this country. We are Americans, and we can do anything that we put our collective minds to. We must all come together with a common cause. It Can Be Done... It Will Be Done! Of this, I am certain. 2011 should be, will be, the start of our long road back. I'm proud of this country, and I am proud of all of you, and proud to call you all my friends.
 Happy New Year, Everyone
 John

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