Social Issues

The Good News From a Bad Year

Things are still getting better all the time

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Be prepared to see a lot of doom and gloom this week. Those year-end video and photo montages, year-in-review summaries, and "a look back" reflections are inevitably gloomy even in boom times. That's likely to be especially true in 2008, a year that, admittedly, wasn't particularly filled with hope (Barack Obama's campaign promises aside).

I recently heard a conservative talk show host bemoan the "lack of God in our society" as reason for, among other things, the recent "Santa shooting massacre" in Covina, California. The left, meanwhile, is pointing to the financial meltdown as indicative of a different kind of moral failing—the unbridled greed they associate with free enterprise.

Truth is, they're both wrong. The last 12 months may prove not to be the most fondly recalled in recent American history, but things aren't all that bad. Most social indicators are still moving in the right direction. In general, our standard of living continues to improve. Advances in technology are helping us beat the diseases most likely to kill us; giving us more leisure time; making us more comfortable; giving us more convenience; and with the Internet, putting much of the world—quite literally—at our fingertips.

So here's the good news:

Crime rates are still falling. Violent crime in America has been in a freefall since the early 1990s, despite a slight uptick in 2005 and 2006. Economists, criminologists, and sociologists can't conclusively say why. Explanations range from the 1990s economic boom to changes in crime-fighting strategy to the legalization of abortion to reductions in childhood exposure to lead. Whatever the reason, long-term trends show crime is down across the board.

Sex crimes are down, too. Many conservatives and some leftist feminists often argue that the widespread availability of pornography and the "mainstreaming" of sex may effect an epidemic of sexual violence. It hasn't happened. Incidence of rape in America has been in swift decline for 20 years. In 2006, it hit its lowest point since the government started keeping statistics. Crimes against children have also been in decline. Both trends have taken place over a period in which there has been less social stigma attached to being the victim of a sex crime—meaning we're seeing fewer rapes, even as rapes are more likely to be reported. More interestingly, they've also taken place alongside the rise of the Internet, the medium that has done more than any other to mainstream and provide easy access to pornography, gambling, and a host of other vices. Somehow, society has managed to stay afloat.

Our allegedly sexualized culture hasn't had much effect in other areas, either. The divorce rate is at its lowest point in four decades. This is in part because people are waiting longer to get married. More women in the workforce means more women are waiting to get married. And they are getting married for the right reasons, not merely for financial security. It's hard to argue that society is worse off with strong marriages, even if that means fewer marriages over all.

Life expectancy is up. In June, the Centers for Disease Control announced that in 2006 (the latest year for which data is available), Americans once again set a record for life expectancy. Men, women, blacks, whites—all can expect to live longer today than at any point in American history. Discrepancies in the average age of death between ethnic groups are narrowing, too. All of those things we're told need heavy regulation because they're potentially killing us—obesity, alcohol, coffee, sodium, pollution, stress, cell phones—aren't doing a very good job.

We're beating our biggest killers. The same CDC report noted that mortality rates for eight of the 10 leading causes of death in America dropped in 2006. In fact, deaths from the two biggest killers—cancer and heart disease—have been in decline for a decade. Deaths from the third leading cause of death, stroke, are also down.

A generation ago, a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. No more. In November the National Cancer Institute announced that for six years, both incidence of and deaths from cancer have been in decline, the first time that's happened since the organization began issuing its report. The drops were consistent among both sexes and across all ethnic groups, with the exception of American Indians, for whom incidence and deaths largely remained stable. In 1962, the 5-year survival rates for five of the 10 leading causes of childhood cancer were 10 percent or lower. Today, the survivial rates for all 10 are at least 55 percent, and six are above 80 percent.

The kids are all right. Despite the periodic outbreak of moral panic over violent videogames, MySpace, "rainbow parties," and dirty lyrics in rap music, America's kids are getting along just fine. Teen pregnancy was up slightly in 2006 (again, the latest year for which data is available), but that's after a 15-year decline to historic lows—again over the very period during which critics say our culture is overly sexualized. Since 1991, fewer teens are having sex, fewer are having sex with multiple partners, and more are using condoms when they do engage in intercourse. The abortion rate is also at its lowest point in 30 years.

Beginning in 1994, juvenile crime dropped dramatically for a decade. By 2004, juvenile crime was at its lowest point in a quarter century. The numbers edged up slightly in 2005 and 2006, but juvenile violent crime is still 40 percent lower than it was in 1994. The juvenile murder rate is a whopping 73 percent below its high in 1993.

We have more leisure time. Americans work on average eight fewer hours than we did in the 1960s. Believe it or not, lower-income Americans are actually more likely to spend time at leisure and less time on the job than their wealthier counterparts, suggesting that when we do work long hours, it's more likely to be because we want to than because we have to. We also seem to be enjoying ourselves more. We're spending more money per person on recreation. And the toys we do have (high-definition televisions, iPods, computers, sound systems) are immeasurably more fun than they were generations ago.

Doom and gloomers have been predicting the downfall of American society for generations. The last 20 or so years in particular have seen incredible advances in technology that have given us a wealth of new choices, exponentially enhancing our personal and economic freedom. The worrywarts fret that our society can't handle that sort of freedom—that prosperity and unlimited choices coupled with the absence of need will spell our ruin.

This year's headlines aside, we seem to be handling it all pretty well.

Radley Balko is a senior editor at reason. A version of this article originally appeared at FoxNews.com.

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  1. FTA: All of those things we’re told need heavy regulation because they’re potentially killing us-obesity, alcohol, coffee, sodium, pollution, stress, cell phones-aren’t doing a very good job.

    Obviously, Balko hasn’t noticed that many of those are under heavy regulation now. Thank a “liberal”, or at least joe.

    P.S. Here’s my summary of the 2008 election year. The word “idiots” is used.

  2. Who are you and what have you done with Balko? This column didnt end up with me pissed off.

  3. Dammit, I was going to enjoy some nice obesity, coffee, cell phones and stress, but with all the heavy regulations, I can’t.

  4. “In fact, most social indicators are still moving in the right direction.”

    As Mother Teresa said, if God doesn’t exist, then Jesus isn’t true. If social indicators aren’t still moving in the right direction, free-market fundamentalists are fucked. The best libertarian heads are looking for some sand.

  5. Balko’s thesis is that “Most social indicators are still moving in the right direction…despite the challenges of 2008.”

    But most of the statistics he uses are from 2006. Figures for 2008 have not been tabulated unless the statisticians have been very busy for the last 12 hours.

    I could agree with a thesis like “things have been generally getting better for a long time and a couple of bad years are unlikely to wipe that out and may not even reverse it temporarily” But that’s not what he said. He said that social indicators are still moving in the right EVEN IN 2008 (even in a “bad year” things are “STILL” getting better). He cannot prove that with available data.

  6. Lefiti’s still posting.

  7. Don’t worry! Be happy!

  8. Paul Prescod is right, but single-year changes don’t really matter unless they’re drastic, and they probably aren’t. What matters is the long run and general trends, so I think what Balko has posted suffices.

    Remember Monty Python: Always look on the bright side of life! *whistles*

  9. Government intervention is an abiding feature of all capitalist economies; it has never completely abated, and it’s back in spades. FDR all the way!

  10. FDR all the way!

    But I don’t want to be interned again!

  11. Elf Ninos Mom (“Last Free Voice”) Is Tamara Johnson from Huntington WV

    badda bing badda bang badda boom

    allahu akhbar

  12. I have conditioned my brain to detect the L—ti handle before the rest of my brain reads any further. I can skim right past his ubiquitous barfings without seeing another syllable from the odoriferous troll. In this respect, 2008 was not a total loss.

  13. It appears the Rose Bowl referees are keeping with the long tradition of sticking their entire heads up the arses of the USC football team…

  14. ed

    Just imagine that you have locked L—-i and O—– L— S—— in a room with no means of communication to the outside.

    Now imagine that you have lost the key.

    very relaxing

    In the meantime, don’t feed the trolls.

  15. A generation ago, a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. No more. In November the National Cancer Institute announced that for six years, both incidence of and deaths from cancer have been in decline, the first time that’s happened since the organization began issuing its report. The drops were consistent among both sexes and across all ethnic groups, with the exception of American Indians, for whom incidence and deaths largely remained stable.

    Great, that 1/8th I have means this smoking is going to kill me. I was hoping to go out by an instant STD after banging the hottest chick in the world. Now I’m just depressed.

  16. But, but, 2012! Global warming! Mayan calendar! Islamo-fascism! Edgar Cayce! Bird flu! Peak oil! Moral sewer! Cats and dogs living together! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

    *Jumps out window*

    *Gets up, brushes glass shards off, plays video games*

  17. In the meantime, don’t feed the trolls.

    I have resolved not to. Join me, fellow do-gooders!

    Call 1-800-TROLLDIE
    That’s 1-800-TROLLDIE
    Operators are standing by.
    Have your credit card ready and call 1-800-TROLLDIE.
    That’s 1-800-TROLLDIE.

  18. Yeah, there’s plenty to be happy about in 2008 for Reason and other beltway cosmotarian orgs. Their well-timed hit pieces in January subverted the meteoric rise of the greatest libertarian politician since Thomas Jefferson, ensuring that their even more unlibertarian social circles don’t cut off the party invitation spigot.

    However, for those of us who don’t sip lattes and rub shoulders (and possibly genitals) with the movers and shakers on the Orange Line, the year didn’t go so well. It was a real anus horriblis.


  19. Our allegedly sexualized culture hasn’t had much effect in other areas, either. The divorce rate is at its lowest point in four decades. This is in part because people are waiting longer to get married. More women in the workforce means more women are waiting to get married. And they are getting married for the right reasons, not merely for financial security. It’s hard to argue that society is worse off with strong marriages, even if that means fewer marriages over all.”

    As Charlie Chan might put it: There is only one thing wrong with your analysis – it is stupid.

    If people put off sex and children until they got married, these statistics might be reassuring. But they don’t, so they aren’t. Illegitimacy, single parenthood, and the attendant pathologies, still remain big problems. The problems are so obvious that even sociologists acknowledge them.

    ‘”FDR all the way!”

    ‘But I don’t want to be interned again!’

    Yeah, what is it with Presidents and interns?

  20. “with the Internet, putting much of the world-quite literally-at our fingertips.”

    World at my fingertips is not literally true, silly! It’s a metaphor. Sheesh!

    Seriously, some of these indicators are probably linked to prosperity, which is about to go off a cliff, I believe. Charitable giving, an indicator that Balko failed to mention, has also been on the rise. Expect that to crash soon, too.

  21. Balko with good news? Do Tell.

  22. Hey Mad Max, I was a great moral example! They call me “Hitler’s Pope!”

    I never did excommunicate Hitler. I did excommunicate Goebbels, though.

    No, not for being a genocidal Nazi. I excommunicated Goebbels for the horrible sin of marrying a Protestant.

  23. At some recent point we crossed the threshold and there is no return from there. We’ll not likely descend into abject collapse but any hope for a constitutional republic is long past. GWB and the CONgress have ensured this and made it ever so much easier for Obama to inflict his vision upon us.

    We’re not circling the drain waiting for the barbarians to invade, we’re morphing into Western Europe.

  24. ‘”FDR all the way!”

    ‘But I don’t want to be interned again!’

    Yeah, what is it with Presidents and interns?

    That’s a thread winner, Mad.

  25. Considering Western Europe’s prosperity was largely a by-product of America’s (cheap prescription drugs, etc)…that’s not a good sign.

  26. “It was a real anus horriblis.”

    Lol, I assume you meant “annus”…

  27. Of course, today was the first time I’ve ever seen a porn actress named after a Teletubbie. So some things are looking up.

  28. Pius XII,

    If by “they” you mean a lying “historian,” then yes.

    There are, of course, other sources who had a more positive view of Pope Pius XII.

    Your “they” does not include former Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, who said in 1945: “. . . I told him [the Pope] that my first duty was to thank him , and through him, the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public, for all they had done in the
    various countries to rescue Jews, to save children, and Jews in general.”

    Or Israeli Foreign Minister and future Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1958: “”When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the
    pope was raised for its victims.”

    Then there’s this retard named Albert Einstein who said in 1940: “Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks…

    “Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.”

    Of course, all these people were Jewish or of Jewish descent, and we know how the Jews are so insistent on covering up National Socialist atrocities.

  29. Max, the fact that Jews are stupid does not excuse Pius for being an Anti-Semite.

  30. Does the Pope shit in the woods?

  31. “Max, the fact that Jews are stupid does not excuse Pius for being an Anti-Semite.”

    Wait, did you just call Albert Einstein “stupid?”

  32. Does the Pope shit in the woods?

    Sola ex anui mirabili.

  33. mobius, how many pathbreaking discoveries did *you* make into the nature of the universe, mobius?

    Yeah, you seek credit for that strip thing. Fact is, the only strip you were involved with was your short-lived stint at Chpippendale’s.

    If smearing Pius XII requires you to call Einstein “stupid,” that’s a sign that maybe, just maybe, you need to reconsider your premises.

  34. I suppose that if Pius XII had referred to Jews as “stupid,” then that might have been evidence of anti-Semitism.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  35. mobius,

    I think I have discovered the source of your confusion.

    You have conflated Albert Einstein with his lesser-known cousin, Billy Bob Einstein.

    Billy Bob’s theory of relativity involved chasing after his sister. Fortunately, his sister always escaped at the speed of light.

    Billy Bob also did some practical experiments on how to slow down time. These experiments involved drinking the liquor he manufactured in his still in the Swiss Alps.

    An explosion in one of Billy Bob’s stills gave Cousin Albert the idea of making a powerful superbomb.

    Sadly, most of Billy Bob’s brain cells were killed off with all that moonshine liquor, so by the end of his life, he was a drooling cretin who had lost most major life functions. All he was able to do was to post idiotic comments on Hit and Run.

  36. Anyone naming himself after a character played by Hollywood’s most irredeemable anti-Semites must also be an anti-Semite.

  37. When the supervolcano blows, you’ll all be sorry.

  38. mobius,

    Give Mel Gibson a break – his Dad was an apostate from the Catholic Church – just like Hitler. These apostate influences can’t have been very helpful.

    Duly rebuked, I will avoid the handle “Mad Max” – or for that matter, “Old Man River,” invoking a song made famous by the Stalinist Paul Robeson.

    Or “ed,” which evokes the serial killer Ed Gein.

    Or “joe,” which calls up recollections of Joe Stalin.

    Or “Jennifer,” which sounds too much like “Jennifer Flowers,” Bill Clinton’s former mistress.

    And mobius should rename himself Low-IQ ice-cream cone, because he doesn’t know when he’s licked.

  39. the good news is that the government is going to help auto manufacturers make green vehicles and we will have more proper city planning for all of the country.

    more government is good government, as long as we have more good government people, of course.

  40. i like the volume ofr mad max, perhaps i should add to my handle, with jennifer

  41. Any person, or city, named after Saint Monica must be very holy.

  42. It’s Gennifer Flowers, not Jennifer Flowers. Looks like stupidity is not confined to Jewry, you anti-Semite.

  43. Oh, Moby, just pack it in.

    Tell all your Jewish friends how you championed their cause by saying that Jews are stupid. I’m sure they’ll applaud your contributions to the cause of tolerance.

  44. Jennifer-with-a-J Flowers is a different person from Gennifer-with-a-G Flowers.

    You see, one night Bill Clinton sang to his state troopers, “you don’t bring me Flowers anymore,” so they went in search of Gennifer and found Jennifer instead. Bill wasn’t picky. When did I ever suggest that he was?

  45. Declining rates of violent crime are due to demographics, i.e. the aging of the population. It turns out that older people are simply not as prone to commit violent crime as younger folks.

    Radley, I am afraid your assessment reminds me of the many economists and politicians were swearing to us that economic conditions were just fine and dandy not too many months ago. You will be eating your words one year from today.

  46. Ignoring Mad Max’s reflexive defense of his club for irrational beliefs…

    I think that society and liberty are going to stagnate as people buy into the notion that is necessary to sacrifice economic, social, and cultural freedom in order to gain security. The status quo is trumping liberal, evolutionary, and revolutionary ideas in the minds of many.

    Unfortunately reality isn’t stagnate and doesn’t deal in status quos… 2009 will be interesting.

  47. dsw,

    joe was telling us how the economy was in a severe depression as soon as the republicans stole the 2000 election. the numbers are just now coming in and they all confirm what joe was saying.

    you are a little late to the party.

  48. “Ignoring Mad Max’s reflexive defense of his club for irrational beliefs…”

    Don’t forget Albert Einstein’s reflexive defense, and the defense by two Israeli foreign ministers (including a future Prime Minister).

    Talk about “reflexive” attitudes – dismissing these folks as “irrational.”

  49. This is all great. I feel much better now that I know everything is going to be all right.

    Now when do I get a job?

  50. Lol, I assume you meant “annus”…

    Lol, we’re talking about Reason’s cosmotarians here. Believe me, “anus” is exactly what he meant. And if he didn’t, he should.

  51. I agree; most things are looking up. I’m suspicious of the cancer survival rate increases you report, though, since they are (if I’m not mistaken) calculated based on *time from diagnosis to death*. Which just means we have better diagnostic techniques (and a lot more people are going in for countless check-ups and other cancer screenings). Still I agree: we fat, cancer getting slobs are living more comfortable lives than our 50s or 60s counterparts.

  52. Is this “Lefti” some sort of sophisticated, ELIZA-esque bot, or is he or she just an ass who posts random pro-Chairman-Mao nonsense just because he or she can get away with it on this minimally moderated forum?

    Just curious. (Lefti, please go away.)

  53. Post-chariman Mao? d, you’re a fucking halfwit.

    Want the Pope’s phone number? Et cum Spiri 220

  54. ………………………???
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    ……………..A FRIEND OF LEFITI

  55. don’t feed the trolls

    Bah, use INCIF, dont even SEE the trolls.

  56. “In fact, most social indicators are still moving in the right direction.”

    I don’t give a damn about social indicators.

    I can’t spend a social indicator.

    I care about the market value of my investment accounts.

    2008 was a terrible year and 2009 likely won’t be much better.

  57. robc, that means you’re missing out on all the fun. One of H&R’s strengths is it’s unmoderated trollish excellence. Our trolls are strong.

  58. Epi,

    Nah, the ones I have blocked bore me. I wish INCIF would block the responses to them too. If Lefiti or Wacko were interested in arguing their points, I wouldnt have them blocked.

  59. Gilbert,

    2008 was a terrible year and 2009 likely won’t be much better.

    You didnt short the housing market? Your investments seem to be a personal problem.

    Mine too, for that matter, but I consider it my problem that I didnt shift my positions to something that would have made money. Or at least been properly hedged.

  60. Since 1991, fewer teens are having sex, fewer are having sex with multiple partners

    I wonder if teens regard this as “good news”?

  61. parse,

    As I stopped being a teen in 1989, based on a sample size of one, there must have been a huge increase in teen sex between 1989 and 1991 for todays teens to be having less sex.

  62. 2008 was a terrible year and 2009 likely won’t be much better.

    If you believe that, start shorting.

    I will say, there are a raft of technical indicators (if you go in for that sort of thing) showing this could be the bottom (at least for awhile). I started some long positions during the past week, and am getting set up with my broker to short right now.

  63. “If you believe that, start shorting.”

    I’ve never played the short seller game.

    Too risky for me. Stocks can’t go below zero but the upside is unlimited – infinte risk.

    Also you not only have to be right about the direction, you have to be right about the timing of the direction.

  64. J. Ascii Penis | January 2, 2009, 2:34am | #

    Mommy, what’s that tall pointy thing with the round bottom?

  65. If Lefiti or Wacko were interested in arguing their points, I wouldnt have them blocked.

    Dude, this means you don’t see the Lefiti spoofs either, which are often hilarious. You’re missing out.

    Since 1991, fewer teens are having sex, fewer are having sex with multiple partners

    I call bullshit on any study regarding teens and sex. There’s no way they’re going to tell the truth. Rainbow parties! Chicken parties!

    The subject of young people having sex makes older people really fucking stupid.

  66. The subject of young people having sex makes older people really fucking stupidjealous.

    FTFY

  67. “I will say, there are a raft of technical indicators (if you go in for that sort of thing) showing this could be the bottom (at least for awhile).”

    I don’t necessarily think the market will take another big dive now but I think it will be a long time before it recovers the losses of last year. Historically the market has moved up in anticipation of an economic recovery ahead of actual economic improvement but I have my doubts about that pattern repeating this time around. Or that the economy will start to pick up in the last half of the year either as a lot of economists are predicting.

  68. Yes, robc, that is correct.

  69. “It was a real anus horriblis.”

    you may wish to see a doctor about this.d

  70. I’m wondering if Radley didn’t mean to say “In fact, most socialist indicators are still moving in the right direction.”

  71. Social indicators moving in the right direction? Bah! What good does that do when economic indicators are plummeting in the wrong direction? This goes to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Being able to legally smoke pot with your multiple multi-gendered spouses is a poor consolation for being unemployed and homeless.

  72. The subject of young old people having sex makes older young people really fucking stupidjealous nautious.

  73. Ladies and gentlemen, I now own the world record for most fucked up tags in a sentence.

  74. I usually hate quoting leftists, but honestly, some people need to join the reality-based community.

    Things may not be nearly as dire as some people want to make them out, but getting better? This sounds as detached from reality as John McCain saying “the fundamentals of the economy remain strong”.

    I know large corporations that are doling out five percent pay cuts across the board this year. It’s better than getting laid off, but it sure as hell isn’t things “getting better”.

  75. Technical analysis is a bunch of hooey. You may as well read tea leaves or call Miss Cleo for investment advice.

    I’m with Mike M, it may not be the end of the world or the Great Depression 2.0, but things aren’t exactly getting better. A lot of those social trends were outcomes of increased wealth (and the states aren’t even for 2008).

  76. When are conservatives going to move back into the world of reality. If I had to put my finger on when we completely lost our bearings it would be over the situation in Iraq where denying what every American could see with his own lying eyes on TV every night became standard practice. Every day seemed to bring forth new lies or at least exaggerations or distortions from the administration on every subject you can think of from Katrina to pechlorate levels in the ground water. Frankly, it now seems to have become our standard operating practice and this is just one minor example. The country is mired in two wars, the financial system is on life support, unemployment is heading for 10% and the country is facing the worst recession since the thirties……and things aren’t so bad. If we don’t kick this totally stupid habit it’s going to be the death of the GOP.

  77. Less teenage sex since 1993, the same year that home videogames hit the bigtime with Mortal Kombat and Streetfighter 2?

    Can’t be a coincidence.

    VIDEOGAMES ARE DESTROYING TEENAGE SEX

  78. Working women are evil.

    The fact that Balko regards the upsurge in working women as a positive development means that he’s evil too.

  79. Libertarians are evil, in any event.

    Libertarianism is just a synonym for leftism. It’s a synonym for feminism.

  80. MORE GOOD NEWS.THE LIBERAL’S HAVE SPENT ALL THEIR TIME AND ENERGY TRYING TO DISTROY BUSH, FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. THEIR CLOSEST ALLIES THE MEDIA ARE DONE. EVEN NOW THEIR FINAL CHAPTER IS BEING WRITTEN. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN PROLONG THEIR EXISTENCE IS THE UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.

  81. The main color for this year, in my opinion should be black. There are too many killings and lost this year. Not to mention the suicide bomb attacks took place in the Middle East, there are too many innocent victims in these attacks. I do not know what kind of statement they are trying to make out, to them, these attacks could be regarded as the holy wars against the foreign invaders, but to me they are all terrorist attacks. And the mass shooting happened recently in the Fort Hood military base could be a sharp knife pierce through our heart. Once we thought that the America continent is the safest land in this world, nothing bad from the outside war would shock our life, but the true is we were wrong. The gun shooting might wake lots of people’s dreams.
    Besides these bad things, the one on the top for at least two years is the news of Michael Jackson’s death and this news would decide that the main color for the New Year’s Party should be black. My friends and I are now preparing for the New Year’s Party and we had bought dozens of black rubber wristbands. We do want our party to be the most exciting one, but we also want to memorize the King of Pop. I could see the scene of that party: we would sit together in a circle and listen to Michael Jackson’s songs.
    Bad things happen every day; the bad things happened this year are not the special cases. We had lost so many great people in the past, such as Elvis Presley, John Lennon and so on. We have to survivor in this world so we could not sunk ourselves in the sadness. At least these bad news have good part, the death of Michael Jackson made us to know that we love him though he was in trouble and was fastened by affairs before his death.

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