By Michael Goldman
As 2013 ends and 2014 begins, I bet you didn't know that officially one in seven children in Massachusetts is currently living in poverty.
I bet you didn't know more people in America died of suicide (38,364) during 2013 than died in automobile accidents (33,687).
I bet you didn't know that despite overwhelming support across every demographic grouping in the nation for the right of federal, state and local law enforcement officials to deny the severely mentally unstable access to guns, virtually every bill introduced in legislatures after the 2012 Newtown, Conn., shooting to do just that failed, all because of the perceived power of the NRA to punish legislators who voted for it.
I bet you didn't know it's gotten so crazy in the Republican Party that Texas Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who is generally acknowledged by friends and foes as the most consistently conservative member of the current Senate, is being challenged by the tea party in Texas for being too liberal.
I bet you didn't know that when America chooses to make quasi celebrities out of the ignorant, the crude, the undereducated and the vacuous (I'm talking about the Kardashian's, the cast of Jersey Shore, the cast of Duck Dynasty and the cast of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.), you're going to have a moment when these folks are exposed for saying or doing something the rest of us consider to be either ignorant, unpleasant or idiotic.
I bet you didn't know that someday very soon any semblance of the need to actually learn to spell or speak in a grammatically correct manner will be obliterated under the torrent of tweets and texts that passes for conversation in 21st-century America.
I bet you didn't know that sheriffs across the country are using a variation of the so-called conscience clause to nullify the few new gun laws being passed by state legislatures.
I bet you didn't know that the HealthCare.gov website is functioning so well across the country that thousands are signing up daily for the variety of insurance options the site promotes.
I bet you didn't know the massive 203,000 increase in jobs created in November 2013 may actually turn out to have been even higher than first reported.
I bet you didn't know that state after state is choosing not to wait for the federal government to increase the current pathetic minimum wage, and are acting instead on their own to pass "livable wage standards" for their workers.
I bet you didn't know that Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker is being challenged in the party primary by political novice and tea-party acolyte Mark Fisher of Shrewsbury.
I also bet you didn't know Baker's running mate Karyn Polito may well find herself at future Republican campaign events tripping all over herself trying to explain why those present shouldn't vote for her tea-party soulmate Fisher, rather than for Baker, who disagrees with her on virtually every position.
I bet you didn't know that some physicists say it's possible our universe is really a hologram and that so-called "string theory" explains the universe better than does Einstein Theory of Relativity.
The upshot is in the future the rest of us need to watch as many reruns of the Big Bang Theory as is possible.
I bet you didn't know lawyers who employ the so-called "affluenza" defense, which states the children of the rich should not be held liable for their illegal criminal actions because their parents never disciplined them, will end up having the same long-term success before juries as the infamous "Twinkee" defense had before juries in the early 1970s.
I bet you didn't know that despite the best efforts of Fox News to keep every Santa white as the driven snow, in the future more and more Santas are going to be black, Asian and Hispanic.
Between us, however, I don't think the little kids in the future will care all that much what color or ethnicity Santa is, as long as he continues bringing them the presents they requested.
Then again, I bet you figured that one out for yourselves, didn't you?
Michael Goldman is a paid political consultant for Democratic candidates and president of Goldman Associates in Boston.