Looking back on the year: 2006
Better late than never! As I did for the end of 2005, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize the year's main events and trends in terms of how I saw them at the time. You might say it was a bad year for Republicans and (small "d") democrats alike, as discontent with Bush administration war policy finally caught up with the GOP, and the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East stalled. The world became less secure, as Iran defied the United Nations and moved ahead with nuclear research, while North Korea test launched intercontinental missiles (a failure) and detonated a small (apparent) nuclear warhead. The White House strategy of mobilizing culturally conservative voters backfired badly, as multiple hypocrisies were exposed and the Republicans lost control of both houses of Congress in November. Fresh voices of ethical conservatism emerged during the year, however, offering hope for the future. Latin America continued to swing toward the Left, as new populist leaders were elected, but moderates and conservatives held on in key races, frustrating (for now) Hugo Chavez's bid to become the new Castro. In baseball, the Washington Nationals struggled mightily, but again finished the year in last place in the NL East, despite Alfonso Soriano's superb performance in home runs and stolen bases. The titles of the following blog entries (or photo gallery pages) are listed in chronological order, from January through December:
Major news items
- DeLay gives up majority leader post
- Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
- Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
- The State of the Union, 2006
- D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
- Checks and balances in wartime
- New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
- In the footsteps of France?
- Nuclear bluster: Iran and U.S.
- Groundbreaking on new stadium!
- Bush militarizes Mexican border
- Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
- Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
- Fidel Castro is gravely ill
- Israel invades Hezbolland
- George Allen's puzzling slur (?)
- Groundbreaking in the Bronx
- "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
- Crunch time in Iraq (again)
- Nationals: Year in review
- Faith, politics, and the GOP
- North Korea's "smaller bang"
- "Hate triangle" tears Iraq apart
- Anger over U.S. "timetable"
- Cardinals are world champions
- Virginia's marriage amendment
- Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
- Realism and our goals in Iraq
- Latin America & U.S. trade policy
- Iraq Study Group reports
- Iraq: To surge or not to surge?
I noted the passing of the following notable figures over the past year. Three were brutal bad guys.
- 12 miners in West Virginia
- John Kenneth Galbraith
- Lloyd Bentsen
- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
- Buck O'Neil
- Corey Lidle
- Jeane Kirkpatrick
- Augusto Pinochet
- Gerald Ford
- Saddam Hussein
I probably should have mentioned Milton Friedman as well; he died during my two-week hiatus in November. To make up for that lapse, I plan to write an essay on his book Capitalism and Freedom soon.
- Catbird weathers snow storm
- Pine siskin belated appearance
- Big (chill) Spring Day, 2006
- ABC field trip on Bell's Lane
- ABC annual spring picnic
- ABC field trip to Chimney Hollow
- Orioles, orioles everywhere...
- Birding in South Dakota, 2006
- Glossy ibis visits the valley
- ABC in Montgomery Hall Park
- Shrike, eagle, & many sparrows
- Black swan in Augusta County
- Late fall birds in South Dakota
- Christmas Bird Count, 2006
- Pilgrimage to Appomattox
- South Dakota
- National Zoo, National Aquarium
- Flying Fortress in Manassas
- Calfpasture Valley excursion
Even though this blog post was produced on January 7, I am manually inserting it at the end of the December 2006 Archives page, where it really belongs.