New Year’s Resolutions

January 6, 2001

by John K. Bates

Along with predictions (see this space from last week), the New Year for many people tends to bring about self-analysis. Frequently, this takes the form of expressed goals of change, usually known as “New Year’s Resolutions.” Most of these resolutions involve personal growth (i.e., reading more) personal shrinkage (i.e., losing weight), or general self-improvement (i.e., resolving not to use the single-finger salute in traffic). It is said that 98% of such resolutions do not make it halfway through the year, and many do not make it through the first week. One can debate the merits of such resolutions, but they certainly are harmless.

Your humble columnist, who believes that improvement need not wait for any specific day (and who himself is perfect in every way, thank you Mac Davis), does not make New Year’s resolutions. But he certainly believes others can and should seek to improve themselves. So in the interest of helping people make themselves better, here are some New Year’s resolutions some prominent folks might wish to consider:

  • - Bill Clinton should resolve to keep his mouth shut. Can anyone doubt the utter insincerity of a man who actually wishes the September 11 attacks had happened on his watch? There is something truly wrong with this man, something perhaps only Narcissus could understand. Our country had eight years of his self-indulgences. We need a break.
  • - Attorney General John Ashcroft would do well to resolve to read the Constitution of the United States. Every part of it, especially the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments.
  • - EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman should resolve to learn something about environmental science. Her decision to carry forth the hideous Clinton judgment against G. E. (where the company will be required to spend $500 million to dredge the Hudson River to remove encapsulated PCBs, an act that will cause the PCB level in the river to skyrocket) shows lack of scientific knowledge, lack of political courage, or both.
  • - Rush Limbaugh should resolve to just once actually question the Bush administration on any issue, especially on any issue involving the size of government. Somehow, the Country Club Bumpkin has been completely bamboozled into thinking that conservatism now means the continued expansion of government, so long as “the right people” run that government. Maybe Rush needs to resolve to focus on golf and leave the battle against liberalism to someone who actually believes government run by anyone is inherently evil.
  • - Steve Spurrier (coach, saint, and demigod of the Florida Gators) should resolve to start throwing his visor again. For whatever reason, St. Steve decided he was tired of CBS focusing on him anytime the Gators made a bonehead play. A pity; it was so much fun watching Spurrier get mad, especially when fans could play along and consume a drink every time the visor was flung. Let it fly, Steve!
  • - Lori Cutshall, editor of, should resolve to give up cheering for that rag-tag outfit they call a football team up there in Tennessee and root instead for the real deal - the Gators. (Editors note: Will never happen.)
  • - Ben Stein - lawyer, actor, and writer of the excellent Ben Stein’s Diary in the newly non-excellent American Spectator - should resolve to publish his Diary somewhere else. It has no place in the new, techno-jargon filled joke that the Spectator has become under its new owner, George Gilder.
  • - Usama Bin Laden, presuming he is not scorpion food in the Afghan desert by now, should resolve to hire one Johnnie Cochran as his defense attorney should he ever be captured and brought to trial in the United States. The guy is guilty as sin, but hey, so was O. J.
  • - Kenneth Lay, Chairman and CEO of bankrupt Enron, should resolve to practice sleeping in small rooms with uncomfortable bedding and dubious roommates. This might prepare him for his next home, which he may have earned by allegedly defrauding both his employees and Enron’s shareholders.
  • - The Republican Party should resolve to give Enron’s millions of dollars in campaign donations back to its employees.
  • - The political system should resolve to follow humorist Dave Barry’s advice in his new book, Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway. In this wonderful book, Mr. Barry proposes that candidates wear patches and stickers, similar to NASCAR drivers, of the corporations and organizations that are in effect sponsoring them. This is a far better idea than so-called “campaign finance reform” which would serve to hand even more power to an elite few.
  • - House Republicans should resolve to learn again how to govern in the minority. After this November, they will need the skill. Certainly, they have earned their soon-to-be minority party status, as they have completely abandoned the principles of smaller government upon which they were elected.
  • - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should resolve to continue to strive to uphold the Constitution as brilliantly as he has done in the past. This is especially important if, as some speculate, Chief Justice Rehnquist retires and Scalia is elevated to the top position of the Court.
  • - Soon-to-be-retired House Majority Leader Dick Armey should resolve to become a pundit or commentator on some cable network, preferably Fox News. It is understandable for Mr. Armey to give up politics, seeing how there are few left in Washington that share his disdain for government. But his voice is still a necessary one, and would gain more power if broadcast every day.
  • - And finally, George W. Bush should resolve to cut one single government program during the year. Just one. It doesn’t matter which one; we can’t be picky at this point. Surely the beekeeper subsidy or some pork project somewhere must be a candidate for extinction. This is not to say that Mr. Bush has not done an admirable job as president thus far; he has performed well especially in the foreign policy arena. But considering how many conservatives fawn over Mr. Bush as some sort of second coming of Ronald Reagan, it would be nice if he actually tried to govern like Reagan when it comes to the size, scope, and purpose of the federal government.

There they are, New Year’s resolutions for some who truly need it. I accept voluntary donations for my advice. And I hope all my readers (both of you!) have a wonderful, joyful, and prosperous 2002.


John K. Bates is a part-time freelance writer who works in the energy engineering field and lives in the Denver, Colorado area. He enjoys many outdoor pursuits and the company of his family of three cats. His columns can also be seen on

Send the author an E mail at

For more of John's articles, visit his archives.

Site Meter

To comment on this article, please send us an e mail.

To send this article to a friend, click here.

For a full issue of Conservative Truth, available only to our subscribers,
please join our list! To subscribe click here.
Conservative Truth Home Page OpinioNet Home Page
Home Tom Barrett About Us Aldrich Alert Humor
Subscribe Contact Us Links Search Archives