And so it begins...

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All hope may not be lost if the Mayans had it right

By John Pawlak

The sun rises in the morning. Breakfasts are scarfed down and drivers crowd the roads battling their way to work.  
Shoppers hunt for bargains as food prices rise and paychecks are cut. Tired and frustrated workers on their way home curse as they sit in traffic jams.  
Overcooked dinners are eaten while watching  reruns of “Housewives of Bayonne.”  
Kids play video games as their homework collects dust. The sun shrugs and sinks out of sight, and the day comes to a close.
A new year greets us with pretty much the same old same old, routines we’ve learned to master without having to exert any thought.  
A new year, a new beginning, and the same old garbage we’re fed each day.
Those watching the celebration in Times Square NYC were “treated” to having their new year ushered in by anything-but-a-lady Gag Gag and Mayor Mike Bloomberg — someone should have told him that wearing the American flag on his t-shirt is against the U.S. flag code.  
Oh yeah, having a turbo sleeze like multi-Gag is a great way to start out the year!
And the very next morning, it began. As I sat there drinking my coffee, still working to digest the 20 pounds of food from the night before, one of the first things I heard on the television was a discussion of the end of the world, the commercial hype centered around the misrepresentation of the Mayan calendar’s prediction that existence will come to a screeching halt on Dec. 21.  
Since that’s a Friday, one has to wonder if the world will end early in the morning, or do we have to go to work first, come home, eat dinner, and then get snuffed?
We might not have to wait until the end of the year to see our world come crashing down.  
The economy has been in free-fall since 2007 and there’s no end in sight.  
But the new year does promise to have some things continue to rise.  
And that would be the National Debt.  
Now more than $15 trillion, it will certainly be an issue of discussion by politicians vying for office this year.  
Discussion, discussion, discussion. Lots of discussion.  
But don’t hold your breath waiting for any real action to do anything about it.
Action and two bucks will get you a coffee at Starbucks. Discussion gets you elected.
We’ll also get to enjoy watching the military rattle its sabers and military contractors drool as Iran becomes the next possible target of yet another incursion, confrontation, occupation, police action, whatever they’re calling it today.  
Given the miserable jobs we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, it only makes sense to go to bat again and strike three. And hey, what’s another trillion dollars between friends?
Large numbers seem to be the standard for the upcoming year: 18.5 million vacant homes in America compared to 3.5 million homeless.  You have to love the math.
Yes, we have much to look forward to.  
Institutionalized intolerance will continue to be a favorite world-wide pastime.  
Saudi police beating women, cities in America outlawing construction of Muslim mosques, billions spent on building walls on our borders, orthodox Haredi Jews spitting on women who dare to bare their arms in public, presidential candidates bragging that they’ll investigate the homosexual community if elected, illegal aliens jailed and shipped out of the country (except of course personal nannies, house-cleaners and chauffeurs of the rich.)
Do you think I’m being a bit negative here?  
GOP candidates explaining why minimum wages make no sense, why billionaires should get more tax breaks.
Commercials explaining why anyone who truly loves their wife will buy them a Lexus for Christmas or a $15,000 purse.  
All this while the news continued to report more jobs outsourced, vanishing medical benefits, and continued house foreclosures.
And if that’s not enough to sour your breakfast, consider how much fun we’re going to have going through another election year.
Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life here!
But there is a positive side to all of this.  
Maybe the Mayans were right and we won’t have to deal with 2013. Hey, we can only hope!

John Pawlak
Los Alamos columnist