It's during this last week of the year that I start to contemplate and reflect upon events that have transpired and people of note that have passed on.
Out with the old and in with the new.
As far as the old is concerned, every television station is cranking out their version of a "look back" with retrospective commentary and video clips.
The year 2005 was a busy year. Probably not any busier than previous years but so well covered by the media that it seemed that there was a non-stop series of natural and man-made disasters, tragedies and scandals.
A tsunami which claimed over 200,000 lives. An earthquake producing an estimated death count of over 100,000. Staggering numbers too high to rationally contemplate. Other well-covered events included Hurricane Katrina, the death of Pope Paul II, a report that an estimated 30,000 Iraqi plus over 2,100 US deaths so far in the WOT and removal of the Saddam regime. Governmental political squabbling taken to such an extreme that it would have our country's founding fathers shaking their heads in disbelief if they were around today.
These were not the good old days.
What will 2006 bring us?
Is the expansion of China's economy going to bode well for the average US worker? If we worried about manufacturing jobs drying up when NAFTA went into effect, this should really remove any doubt. Lay-offs in manufacturing will continue.
The budget deficit is completely out of control. Are the chickens coming home to roost soon? Stay alert on this one because it will have severe consequences.
When will our troops start to come home from Iraq and Afghanistan? Rumors are flying that at least the next rotation may not be replaced with a full complement. We should be that lucky. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Will Pat Robertson make some more outlandish predictions invoking the wrath of God on sinful cities? Please Pat, cool it for all our sake.
Will the far-left wing of the Democratic Party continue to worry more about suspected terrorists' rights than they do about our right to a safe and secure homeland for our families? Yes, as long as George Bush is still in office.
Will Google diversify even further? How about pharmaceuticals or medical services besides the books, classifieds, music, videos, mail and blogs.
Are the NY Yankees going to dominate baseball for the next five years with the recent acquisition of Johnny Damon? I don't think so. It may give them a slight edge but as recent history has shown, no guarantee. I will again root for the "less than rich" underdog teams in MLB and continue to hate the Yankees (except for Jeter).
Will the White Sox repeat? Maybe, but I'm rooting for the OTHER Sox!
Go Red Sox.