As years go, 2015 rates with many others as a mixed bag of tricks and treats. Good stuff, bad stuff, and nothing much stuff made up the last 12 months. The year wasn't as bad as many, but certainly not as good as others.
As a nation we have not exactly had one of our best years in terms of race relations. Racial tension and animosity this past year was the worst since the sixties, maybe even worse. Following a few unfortunate officer involved shootings along with misinformation spread by the media, agitators and race baiters declared a national war on our police, claiming that police officers target blacks on a regular basis and racism is endemic within police departments throughout the country. The facts belie those charges, but nonetheless the slanderous attacks were made and sadly have further divided us as a nation.
Stupid students on college campuses linked with radical groups such as Black Liberation Collective and Black Lives Matter led protests to demand the development of curricula focused on teaching cultural competency, the creation of cultural centers, and leadership changes. They called for the end of so-called free speech and demanded "sensitivity zones" be established. They also called for ousting college presidents and other leaders whom they don't agree with. The universities for the most part have caved to the spoiled brats' demands.
Legalized pot continued to spread. Washington, DC and Alaska joined Colorado Washington, and Oregon with still other states decriminalizing it or giving "medical" marijuana legal status (which is only a prelude to total legality). More states will be going to pot in the year ahead and I'm pretty convinced that in a short while it will be legal in everywhere. Anyone who believes that it's a good thing to legalize yet another intoxicant into our society is an idiot.
Hillary Clinton, regardless of her lies and deceitful ways, continues on her inevitable coronation as presidential candidate for the Democrats. Donald Trump threw the entire political establishment for a loop by rising to the top and maintaining a huge lead over other Republican candidates. Unless the state primaries are able to reverse the trend, Trump could very well wind up running against Clinton for president. 2016 is looking to be one hell of a crazy election year.
In early December we had the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11 when Islamic jihadists opened fire on a Christmas party in San Bernardino killing 14 and wounding 21 others. Earlier, last summer, a jihadist opened fire on a military recruitment center and a naval reserve facility in Chattanooga killing five people. Another kind of psycho shot 11 people in a movie theater in Lafayette killing two and wounding nine before finally killing himself.
Another nutjob killed nine people attending church in Charleston, South Carolina, and still another monster killed nine more at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.
Add to that the big biker shootout in Waco between two biker gangs resulting in nine dead and at least 18 injured and you have quite a major mass murder year.
On a positive note, 2016 is the last year Barack Hussein Obama will be serving as president. After seven years he's finally given me the "hope and change" I look forward to. "Hope" that the next president will "change" all the crap that he's instituted.
Personally, the past year was an expensive one for us in terms of home repair. It was like everything fell apart at once. Plumbing, roofing, water heater, lawn sprinklers, painting and other repair work along with various large appliance breakdowns added up to nearly $50,000 in replacement and repair cost.
As bad as that was, as the saying goes, "It's only money." The really important stuff is the health and wellbeing of your loved ones. We had several of our family members in the hospital this past December, fortunately everything went well and everyone came home in time for the New Year. Thank God.
But the best thing of all, the one wonderful event that made the entire year of 2015 worthwhile came on June 11th, when our great niece Raegan was born. Beautiful miracles still occur and give us reason to keep faith in our hearts.
My New Year's wish to you is simple. May 2016 bring you the same joy that little Raegan brought us in 2015.