This year, 2009, was book-ended by a couple of men who displayed heroic resolve and physical courage:
In January, pilot Chesley Sullenberger managed to land his plane safely in the Hudson River after both engines failed.
And in December, that Flying Dutchman Jasper Schuringa, the Netherlands filmmaker, leaped across fellow passengers to put out the potentially catastrophic fire started by the Nigerian terrorist suspect aboard the Detroit-bound Northwest flight.
Call me a dreamer, but here's hoping that 2010 will bring us displays of courage to match theirs: moral bravery, political and social, in Washington, D.C. and in the capitals of the states and the world, by men and women standing up to incivility and stupidity and cupidity, to the loony, ginned-up "conspiracies'' and the loud-mouthed tub-thumpers who profit handsomely from promulgating them, to the pressures and allures of both mob-ocracy and corporate checkbook intimidation ... well, the list goes on. Let's just cast it as the political spin on the Scottish supplication, and deliver us from ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the boardrooms and caucus rooms.