Now Is Not The Time To Play Possum

Today, I am turning my blog over to Erin Geary, a fellow Substack columnist, who has penned a wonderful reflection on the tradition of making (usually futile) New Year’s resolutions. Enjoy!

 Now Is Not The Time To Play Possum: Making New Year’s Eve Resolutions for 2024

By Erin Geary

We have the ancient Babylonians to thank for the tradition of New Year’s Eve resolutions. Four thousand years ago, they promised to return borrowed items, pay debts, and honor their king. If they reneged, their gods would be angry and could take out their wrath on crops. Much later, as Christianity flourished, people’s resolutions changed. They turned inward, recognized their faults, and resolved to change themselves for the better. Self-improvement is a positive step whether promising to love thy neighbor or quit smoking. Though resolution-making is a time-honored tradition, we just don’t see enough positive outcomes lately. Perhaps we can help others come up with resolutions for 2024.

For instance, mayors like Mike Johnston, Brandon Johnson, and Eric Adams should resolve to stop whining about illegal immigration. They got themselves in a pickle when voicing that their cities would become sanctuaries. Oh, how proud they were, pretending to be Hunchbacks of Notre Dame emphatically crying, “Sanctuary!” for all the illegal Esmeraldas flowing like the Seine over our borders. Now that the migrants are arriving in Denver, Chicago, and New York City, these same mayors have had an epiphany. They lack the resources to house, clothe, and feed migrants. However, instead of demanding the closing of the border or shipping the migrants to Washington, D.C., where the problem began, these crafty mayors are seizing on an opportunity to request federal monies. Rest assured, the monies—our tax dollars—will go to the migrant crisis just like the COVID monies did.

Then, there’s Governor Gavin Newsom, who needs to make a resolution to understand logic.

According to the California State Auditor, California has the highest homeless rate of any of the fifty states. Additionally, it ranks second for the highest housing costs. But Gavin’s biggest worry isn’t about homelessness and housing. Instead, he’s most concerned by the climate, and he’s created ridiculous standards for reaching net zero by 2045. For example, over 5,000 businesses in the state whose earnings are above $1 billion must now disclose their “direct and indirect emissions” (PBS News Hour), which will, inevitably, lead to fines. Those fines will lead businesses to flee. Adding to the insanity, Newsom is also rushing to rid California of all fossil-fueled vehicles, although Californians already deal with routine power outages.

Keeping this in mind, another of California’s biggest problems (there are so many) is a lack of water. Newsom’s solution is to allow the recycling of wastewater to be reused as drinking water. The concept, though nauseating, is quite an engineering marvel and actually works. However, in spite of its feasibility, there are many steps to make sewer water clean enough to drink. This means that the technology requires a great deal of energy.

The Pure Water Southern California Demonstration Plant showcases technology that may provide drinking water to Southern Californians by 2032. Photo by Lauren Justice for CalMatters

In 2008 at the cost of $480 million, steps in the filtration process first entails the use of a 600-horsepower engine, then, eventually, graduating to a 1,000-horsepower engine. Additionally, the plant used plastic sheets in the process of reverse osmosis. I assume Newsom knows where plastic comes from and that the costs for such plants have risen into the billions. Thus, on the one hand, Newsom is signing laws restricting fossil fuels and promoting a zero carbon footprint, while on the other, he is creating more energy usage by converting toilet water into drinking water at massive costs to taxpayers. If only the feces and urine on California sidewalks could somehow be collected…

Next, we should urge the Oregon State Board of Education to make a resolution reversing its decision to dumb down its high schoolers. What started under Governor Kate Brown as a pause of mandated proficiency testing during COVID-19 has been continued until 2029. Graduating seniors should have to prove that they gained an education before moving on, but the Board of Education believes that passing tests hurts “marginalized students.” As reported in the New York Post, Marc Siegel, who is the spokesperson for the Department of Education, stated to Fox News Digital, “Let’s be clear: we haven’t eliminated assessments for Oregon students. What’s changed is the insistence on a specific test score for graduation…”

No, Marc, let’s be clear: giving students a test when there is no incentive to pass is a ridiculous waste of time and money. But, you know, those minority kids need a break. They can’t meet the white man’s expectations to read, write, and complete math equations. We have to lower the bar to help our marginalized students. Obviously, the Oregon State Board of Education doesn’t care how insulting this thinking is. Furthermore, what will magically happen by 2029 to make students suddenly proficient?

The Republican Party also has its share of resolutions to make. First and foremost, they need to remember that they work for us. Can you think of one accomplishment the Republican Party has made since the midterm elections? Republicans used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but last month, they voted with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown, thus, once again, kicking the can down the road. Moreover, they are no closer to impeaching corrupt President Biden, regardless of the headlines. Equally, Hunter refused to be deposed privately by Congress, and there were no consequences. But never fear. The Republicans, right on cue, will claim that with more campaign dollars and your vote, this time things will be different. Perhaps an additional resolution to fire Ronna McDaniel might help their cause.

Undoubtedly, presidential hopeful Nikki Haley’s resolution should be to read up on the Civil War and its causes. Goodness! Nikki had to think before responding with gobbledygook. It’s as if the word slavery can’t pass the lips of a Republican contender from the South. Seriously, this was her answer to the query regarding what led to the Civil War: “I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run, the freedoms, and what people could and couldn’t do.” Did I miss something in social studies? After taking some heat, Nikki revised her answer. She covered her arse by stating slavery was the obvious “easy part” of the reply. Yes, even the Civil War is nuanced.

Meanwhile, Ron DeSantis is full of woe because Trump’s indictments “distorted the primary” and “crowded out, I think, so much other stuff, and it sucked out all the oxygen” (CNN). Well, Ron, Nikki is rising, and you are sinking. None of that has to do with Trump. It has to do with a poorly run campaign due to an unclear message. Make a resolution to have a campaign that people are energized by, or we may be stuck with a candidate who separates slavery from the Civil War.

There are too many resolutions that need to be made, but here’s a few more on my list:

  • Bill Gates’ resolution should be to terminate tampering with education and farming. Stay in your lane, Bill.
  • NFL cameramen need to be resolute and stop focusing on Taylor Swift at Kansas City Chiefs football games. It’s ruining recreational time with my favorite team.
  • McDonald’s, please make a resolution to bring back the Big Mac, Jr., no matter how oxymoronic its name is. One all-beef patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun is delicious.
  • Tallapoosa, Georgia, must promise that next year’s New Year’s Eve Possum Drop will be performed with a live possum. Anyone can drop taxidermic roadkill. Deep down, I know you Georgian rebels would love to tick off PETA.
  • Lastly, let’s all resolve to be unplugged more—except when reading Common Folk 365 twice weekly and telling your friends, family, and even your enemies to read and subscribe.

Raise your glasses to the ancient Babylonians for giving us a 4,000-year-old tradition that hasn’t been canceled for offending someone! May we all have a blessed 2024 filled with joy, prosperity, unity of purpose, and love.


[Erin Geary describes herself this way: “I am a wife, mother, writer, educator, and consultant who has been dismissed from editorial pages of traditional journalism for my Superman beliefs in truth, justice, and the American way. Join me at Common Folk 365 to read content that is decidedly pro-American, value-driven, and logical. I am a Cancer survivor. I am NOT an aspiring rapper.”]

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About Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Read More About Ron Here

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