Thank you, 2017, and peace out

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blankSayonara 2017!

Auf Wiedersehen, good riddance, goodbye! Don’t let the door hit ‘cha where the sun don’t shine!

I mean, not all things that happened in 2017 were horrible. Four babies were born in my family. New life is always good. But 2017 stole sleep from me, like a rude thief in the night.

I watched him closely. Not just because he was pushy and ornery; full of tempest, fires and floods. Not just because he was sneaky and full of snake oil. Tucking in expanded rights to carry concealed weapons while we were mourning heavy losses in not one but two of the deadliest mass shootings in our country; faking us out with fake news… and fake “fake news.”

I watched 2017 closely because I was given the privilege of Winters Expressing. And while I consider that a blessing, I also would have liked to pick a friendlier year (if possible), where people weren’t spitting at each other and driving their cars through crowds.

I couldn’t type fast enough to keep up with 2017. Peace-stealing bandit at night, track star by day. Racing off to cause more chaos!

2017 brought a friend bounding into my office, jovially announcing that we live in the “greatest nation on Earth!” and I got angry. (Put your pen down and read the rest of the article.)

Sure, we live in a great country… a lot of the time. But Sweden and Canada are great too. Denmark ranks pretty high on the “happy meter.” And I was happy he was happy. Guess he’d had a great weekend! But on that same weekend, a Texas family lost eight of its members while in church, because we refuse to bring any sanity to our debate on the Second Amendment.

A 2-year old baby should not be mowed down because of a deranged, estranged husband!

We have the highest number of gun-related deaths of any country on Earth. So… what are we doing now? Looking at “mental illness”… and “domestic violence”! Sadly, both of which were around when the Constitution was amended for the second time.

What wasn’t around? AK15-style weapons (with bumper shoots), that retail for $799; less than many flat-screened TVs.

We’re polarized and politicized, so we continue to suffer.

I work at a school, and we’re having more “lock down” drills. Yay! How good is that for our kids?

A great nation, sure, but 2017 didn’t inspire me to shout we’re “the greatest!” (like we’re in some kind of prize fight.)

And like a good fight promoter, 2017 pitted people against each other. “In this corner… old-school men of power vs. new-school women; NFL owners vs. … “inmates””?

The U.S. does hold 25 percent of the world’s prison population although we make up only 4.3 percent of the world. Also 90 percent of criminal court cases do not go to trial; they’re plea bargained. 2017 did teach me that.

Maybe I should say, “thank you, 2017, for the tough love. And… peace out!”

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