01 January 2006


I am making no New Year's resolutions. Leaving aside the problems with actually keeping them, it seems to me an odd time of year to be "resolving" anything, especially for someone who must deal with an industry that has pretty much closed down for the previous month—too often as an adversary. It is also an odd time of year for any parent to be making resolutions, as kids' lives don't follow the same calendar. Then, too, the government "new year" is either 01 October (federal) or 01 July (state), so elected and appointed officials are on a different calendar, too…

That won't stop me from offering a few suggested resolutions for others, though.

  1. For every official in the federal government, I suggest resolving to give primary weight to your oath of office. It requires you to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies. Perhaps your personal loyalties are to the patronage system that got you that job, especially if you're in a policymaking position. If that influences your vision of who is an enemy or what constitutes enemy action, so be it; but when confronted with enemy action or an enemy, it shouldn't matter whether it comes in equine or pachyderm form.
  2. For every author, artist, photographer, musician, and filmmaker out there, I suggest resolving to do two things:
  3. For authors, I suggest resolving to only ever sign a check concerning publication on the back.
  4. For law enforcement officials everywhere, I suggest resolving to pay attention to what sounds like a small bit of sharp business dealing at least long enough to see whether it might be part of a scheme to defraud. (And if you don't have first-hand knowledge of the line of business in question, ask someone who does whether it looks kosher. Or kashrut.)
  5. For literary con artists everywhere, I suggest resolving to put aside bail money just in case suggestion number 4 ever happens. After all, for you it only has to happen once… and I'll be spending time cajoling the authorities to give such attention to you