Winding Down

As the last few days of 2006 are winding down, so is everything else — except for what’s winding up to a new start.

After being out of town for the week before Christmas, then the flurry of activity for the holiday followed by a houseguest for a few days, my corner of the world has been quiet for a few hours; I slept for eleven of them. During the busy part, I also cut off my participation at the Oak Ridger forums — not because I can’t hang with a good argument, but because the most basic rules no longer apply.

I can only guess that the moderator, who fell into the job when Shane left, views it as extra work that he doesn’t really want. So, if he lets it die, then he need be bothered no more.

In the “winding up” category, there’s a new local blog at www.viewfrommanland.com — former forum regular Daco has begun writing on his own. I’m really looking forward to that one as a daily read, because he brings an interesting perspective on a variety of issues. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we don’t, but the conversation is never dull.

What else will 2007 bury, and what will it bring? In the outgoing category is Saddam Hussein; hopefully our national leaders will get a handle on the whole Iraq thing and get us out of there without surrender. I had high hopes that with the brutal dictator gone, the Iraqi people would rise to the challenge of building a democracy that works for them, but it appears that they cannot. The tribal struggle of centuries (or millennia?) seems to continue in spite of our efforts.

The lesson here that we can’t seem to learn is to not get into a war unless we intend to win. That means killing people and blowing things up. If that’s not the objective, then we probably shouldn’t be there.

I’m hopeful that 2007 will bring an end to the corruption we saw in state government this year. I’m skeptical of the various laws and commissions created for that purpose, as it was already illegal to be corrupt — several legislators are now serving prison sentences, with more scheduled for trial over the next few months.

Most elected officials are not corrupt. Getting rid of the bad ones will allow those who remain to do a better job, although I fear that some of the new regulations may prove so cumbersome as to cause good people to decide it’s just not worth the hassle. Case in point: I received a letter yesterday from the Tennessee Ethics Commission as notification that I have to file form SS-8005 by January 31 or face up to $10,000 in fines. That’s on top of the disclosure of interests that I already file with the school system, along with financial disclosures every few months to the local election commission, even during those years when there’s no campaign activity whatsoever — nothing raised, nothing spent.

Despite the added paperwork burden, hopefully 2007 will bring additional electronic access to government records. Not just the stuff filled out by officeholders, but actual records of what the government is doing and has done.

* * *

Around here, 2007 will also bring the installation of my new stove on January 9. I’ll finish clearing out the room formerly known as my office (translation: storage bin) and replacing the gross purple carpet to create a bedroom of her own for Delta.

5 Responses to “Winding Down”

  1. on 29 Dec 2006 at 8:12 am Joel

    The link to the daco blog site appears to be broken.

  2. on 29 Dec 2006 at 8:13 am Joel

    OK, the one in the text doesn’t work, but the one in the blogroll does.

  3. on 29 Dec 2006 at 8:26 am Netmom

    Thanks Joel – fixed it.

  4. on 29 Dec 2006 at 10:42 am The Chief

    I just now took a quick read of yesterday’s Oak Ridger, is there any other kind (LOL), clicked on the forums, and there are a great deal fewer posts than in the recent past. I don’t know what they said because I didn’t open any of them.

  5. on 29 Dec 2006 at 1:22 pm daco

    Thanks for the link, the kind words and the encouragement NM. We’ll see where this thing goes.

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