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Saturday, December 30, 2006

What a Trip 2006 has Been

Yes, 2006 has been a wild ride. The ongoing conflicts in the world, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to rage, while at least one massive terror attack, planned for August, was foiled in Britain as part of the ongoing global fight for civilization.

The Iraq war cast a long shadow over domestic politics, with the Democrats taking control of the House and, by the slimmest of margins, the Senate. As part of the grassroots campaign in Maryland, even though my guys didn't win, I'm proud to have participated with a great team in the electoral process. The consequences of the national election outcome will really begin to play out in 2007.

Energy prices seemed to be on a yo-yo throughout the year and real-estate seemed to be slowing down from a frenzied pace while the overall economy continued to show healthy growth.

Science, technology and medicine continued to advance on many fronts, while serious ethical issues such as use of human embryonic stem cells remained in contention.

Tantalizing developments relating to human expansion into space occurred this year. The Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) efforts got back on track and a go-ahead was given for one more Shuttle mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in 2008. The launch of Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis 1 inflatable test satellite and the inspiring flight of Anousheh Ansari highlighted new commercial advances into space as NASA turned its future plans more to the Moon and beyond. Evidence of water from the surface of Mars to the Saturnian moon Enceladus hints at the trail life may follow to the stars.

The saga of life on Earth played out in the final week of 2006 as America pays its last respects to a gentle man who served as President at a time of crisis, while Iraq's cruel deposed tyrant met his fate at the hands of his own nation's justice system.

This year more than most seemed to remind one of the Grateful Dead's line, "What a long, strange trip it's been." May God's blessings be upon you and all of us as we enter the adventure known as 2007.

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