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By Thomas F. O'Neill

Eventful year soon coming to a close

The year is now coming to a close and I must say it went by pretty darn fast. It also had its emotional and economic lows, especially, in my hometown of Shenandoah, PA.

A year ago, I never would have imagined that Shenandoah would make the national news. The death of a Mexican national at the hands of four teenagers was truly tragic. His death divided our town and the news agencies made us look a bit foolish with our opposing rallies. Outsiders coming into our town with their own agendas didn’t help matters much, either.

Now the Fox network was here to film for a new reality TV show that will air in December. Living in Shenandoah is one thing, but watching the town folk on TV will bring it to a whole new level.

The stock and financial market took a roller-coaster ride, and left some wondering whether we are heading for another Great Depression.

Gas prices hit an all-time high this year as well, making record profits for the gas companies but taking an economic toll on ‘Joe the Plumber.’

A year ago before the great financial meltdown, I thought ‘Fannie Mae' was related to the ‘Beverly Hillbillies,’ but now I know ‘Fannie Mae’ is more closely related to’ Freddie Mac’ than ‘Jethro Bodien.’ They are much smarter than the ‘Beverly Hillbillies,’ too, because we the taxpayers are going to bail them out. It’s been said they could receive close to $1.1 trillion when it’s all finalized.

When I left AIG a few years ago, I didn’t get a $1.2 billion severance package with a million dollar a month consultation fee. That is what the former CEO of AIG is getting; they call it a golden parachute. I never went on one of their $30,000 seminars at a hotel in the Caribbean, either, which we the taxpayers are now paying for. It is unfortunate, though, because if I had gone, I would have nicer bathrobes, towels and a bunch of those little bottles of expensive shampoo.

On a brighter note, we elected a new U.S. president this year. Our president-elect is wasting no time to show us that he is taking charge.

In our land of Lincoln, the presidential election of 2008 was truly historical. I believe President Barack Obama will inspire the nation to reach farther than we had before. He has the potential to go down in history as a great president.

The outpouring of cheers and the exuberant embrace for the new president by young and old alike truly made this a great moment in history. The president-elect is what our country needs at this moment in time.

The yuletide season is now moving upon us. There was a time when I felt the season of giving was simply a common courtesy in order to receive and provide our significant others with material gifts.

I now understand more clearly that this special season is for heartfelt acts of gratitude for having people in our lives. When keeping the true spirit of giving close to heart, it enables us to give from the heart all year-round.

The yuletide season is a time when our love comes to call and that love gives this time of year its true meaning.

With love,

Thomas F. O’Neill

(800) 272-6464

Yahoo Screen Name for chatting online: introspective777

Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found at the links below.








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