Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year of the Dog!

New Year’s greetings in Japan are generally never given before January 1, so again this year I am posting this on the morning of December 31 here in the U.S. but after the New Year has already begun in Japan.
The Year of the Dog
In the countries of East Asia, including Japan, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. There is a 12-year cycle in the Asian zodiac, each named after an animal. Today ends the Year of the Rooster.
The Chinese (or lunar) New Year, which is celebrated not only in China but also in other Asian countries with strong Chinese influence, doesn’t begin until February 16 this year.
If you were born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, or 1982, you were born in the Year of the Dog and the new year is a special one for you—or would be if you lived in East Asia—for it will be your ataridoshi, your “lucky year,” since it is the year of the same zodiac animal in which you were born.
According to Japanese folklore, those born in the Year of the Dog have many fine qualities of human nature. They have a sense of duty and loyalty, they are extremely honest, and they always do their best in their relationship with other people.
Or according to a Chinese website,
People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive according to Chinese zodiac analysis. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life. These shining characteristics make them have harmonious relationship with people around.
Two of my children were born in the Year of the Dog, so I basically agree with the above. In many ways Keith and Karen are similar in their personalities, so that has caused June and me to place some credence in the Japanese/Chinese zodiac.
But then there is Donald Trump, who was also born in the Year of the Dog. What are we to make of that??
A Plea for Dogged Determination
One of my hopes for the year of the Year of the Dog is that Robert Mueller and his special counsel will, and will be allowed to, thoroughly pursue all the facts surrounding the Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and the relationship of DJT and his family/associates both before and following the election.
The blog article I posted a year ago today was titled “Happy New Year of Resistance,” and while I haven’t done much myself in actual activism, I have supported the efforts of those who have actively resisted much of the craziness of the current Administration.
Now, however, I am troubled by the strong resistance being mounted against Mueller and his team. In a Dec. 22 op-ed piece, Kenneth Starr (remember him) wrote about the deafening “drumbeat of criticism” against Mueller.
New York Times interview with DJT on Dec. 28 was somewhat encouraging in this regard. Still, fears that the Mueller investigation might be unjustly ended prematurely may not be unfounded.
Mr. Mueller, hang in there with dogged determination!
Happy New Year to All
So, I send special greetings to all of you who were born in the year of the Dog, and I hope you will enjoy your special year.
I am also taking this means to wish all of you a Happy New Year, and I pray for your health and happiness throughout 2018.

Further, I pray that during the Year of the Dog Robert Mueller will have the determination, and the freedom, to find and to publicize the facts about Russia’s intrusion into U.S. politics and about DJT’s (illegitimate?) connection with Russia.


  1. In his Dec. 31 0p-ed piece for the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne wrote about the Mueller investigation being "under constant threat from Trump’s apologists," and he linked to a Dec. 21 opinion piece titled "The growing specter of Robert Mueller’s firing." This is what I am referring to in saying that I am praying Mueller will have the freedom to complete his investigation.

  2. Local Thinking Friend Don Wideman, who is one only a few Thinking Friends who is even older than I, sent these comments yesterday:

    "Thanks, Leroy, for voicing the concerns of so many of us! I have never been as concerned about the welfare of our country as I am now. One of my prayer concerns is why more of our elected leaders (and spiritual leaders) do not stand up and speak truth to power! And the church has lost its voice and witness by committing idolatry putting their faith in a political party and thus becoming just a political entity."

  3. Happy New Year! I do enjoy the company of our dog, especially out on the road.

    Thank you Don for your words. Far too many American people have put their faith not in "a" political party, but in political parties and politics in general - "Our Government which art in DC, politics be Thy game..." May the Church re-find its place and mission both in faith and service. May we repent and turn from political parties, and back to Christ. Your prayer intentions are good and wise.

  4. Happy New Year to you and yours, Bro. Leroy. One of the reasons I so enjoy your insights is they represent "the other side of the story" that I get from Gary Bauer who writes from the opposite perspective and thinks Trump can almost walk on water. I personally think Trump would break through foot thick ice! It will be interesting to see if Mueller finds as much discussion between the Clinton Camp and Russia as existed between the Trump clan and Russia. Keep up the thought provoking writing, and, yes, may the Church and her individual members remember their role!

    1. Thanks, Tom, for your comments. And, yes, I have quite a different Christian perspective from Bauer, who is (still, I assume) a Southern Baptist, as I was until a few years ago. It is partly because of people such as him that I am no longer a SB.

      But I don't see why the Right keeps picking on Hillary. If she had won the election, that would be understandable--and if she had won, the attacks on her would have doubtlessly have been merciless. The special counsel, though, as I understand it was set up to investigate the possible collusion between the winner of the election, both before and after he was elected.