Goodness, what an absurd year it has been! And it’s been an even tougher year to rate news-wise. Below, I humbly offer my choices for the top stories of the year. The choices are based on a number of things… most were inspired by actual events, some by friends with unique perspectives, and one is from a viral e-mail we’ve probably all received by now. They are listed in ascending order of importance in terms of their impact to our American way of life. And I reserve the right to ridicule where appropriate.
And so, with out further ado:
10) The public’s fascination with celebrity death and scandals.
From Michael Jackson’s passing (“All Michael, All Day!” screamed the headlines on some sites providing ghoulish coverage) to the exaltation of Ted “Lion of the Senate” Kennedy, we were mesmerized by those we loved to hate in life. Jackson, who will be forever linked to suspicions of inappropriate relations with children, was never convicted. However, one thing the vast majority of people with IQs above shellac will agree with, he was guilty of showing extremely poor judgement in the way he professed his affections towards children based alone on his own public admissions (Sleeping naked with them at Neverland, giving them “Jesus Juice” etc.)
There were a number of also-rans in the celebrity loss department, but Jackson and Kennedy each grabbed the gold ring of coverage in death.
As for scandals, who’d have thunk it? The year’s top celebrity scandal: Tiger Woods? Rumor has it that the publicists for Madonna and Britney Spears are still in intensive care. All I know is that somewhere, Roger Clemens is saying, “Thank God the spotlight is off me!” Uh, yeah, Roger that.
9) The Miracle On The Hudson
Well, the passengers on US Airways Flight 1549 didn’t exactly get a whole lot of frequent flyer miles on January 15th, but I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints. And with over 40 years logged as a pilot and more than 27,000 hours of flight under his belt, Captain Chesley Sullenberger will forever be remembered for a flight that lasted about three minutes. No one was killed and the only injuries were minor. Police DID find 3 or 4 bodies in the Hudson, but that had nothing to do with the flight. It was, as the NYPD referred to it, “a typical Thursday on the Hudson… except for the plane landing.”
One side note: Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the passengers luggage from US Airways Flight 1549 suffered less damage than that caused by the United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago’s O’Hare airport. This has been confirmed by Dave Carroll.
8 ) Protests In Iran – and the Murder of Neda Agha-Soltan
Millions around the world shed tears for a beautiful young woman we would never meet, named Neda. She was brutally shot by a Basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house near where she was standing during a political demonstration in Iran in protest of the outcome of Iran’s Presidential election. Neda instantly became the face of reformist opposition. To add insult to barbarism, last month her grave was desecrated by supporters of the Iranian regime headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You know, the man who President Obama has said on many occasions, he would meet without any preconditions.
In light of Neda’s brutal slaying however, Obama wasted no time, taking only about a week to condemn the action, after carefully weighing the impact such a stand might have on himself. Perhaps the world-wide uproar enabled him to see it was “OK” to speak out.
One is left to imagine how different things might have been if we’d had a leader with guts, like President Ronald Wilson Reagan. Suffice it to say, things would have been quite different for Ahmadinejad.
7) ACORN & Van Jones
I grouped these together because both were discovered to be grossly inappropriate for the powers given them by Barack Obama and who, had they NOT been exposed, could have done great damage to this country in a surreptitious manner. They are also two examples of why the President should not be allowed to empower his own choices with such authority without having to go through the standard vetting process of a Senate confirmation hearing.
Another reason I’ve grouped them together: They may have been removed from their official positions within the administration, but don’t think for a moment they are gone and out of the picture. An administration that doesn’t give a damn what the American Public wants, and is determined to shove their agenda down our throats regardless, isn’t about to excommunicate either ACORN or Jones.
Unless I’m wrong, their influence will continue to stink up the Obama administration and, if we’re not vigilant in keeping tabs on both, will continue in the federal government long after Obama is gone. KEEP YOUR EYES ON BOTH. We have not seen the last of their impact. For more in-depth information on just how dangerous Jones could be (and remember, he had Barack Obama’s complete confidence and Valerie Jarrett’s dewy-eyed admiration), click here. This issue also exposes just what kind of people Barack Obama chooses to surround himself with as he attempts to live up to his promise of “fundamentally changing life in the United States.”
6) The Deficit
This should be ranked a lot higher, but it took the better part of the year for much of the American public to catch on to the fact that while Obama was blaming everything on the Bush administration (yes, Bush did leave a whopping deficit) Obama was in the process of tripling it with his “Spend money to get out of debt” approach to the recession. If either Cap and Trade or the Health Care Reform bills are enacted, we could be looking at the death of the American economy. Fortunately, the public has caught on to the President’s attempts to blame Bush for everything including…
5) Swine Flu
This hasn’t turned into the Pandemic to end all Pandemics as predicted, but it is taking a toll on a lot of people world-wide and we need to continue to take it seriously. Uh, folks? You can get all the flu shots you want, but until WE THE PEOPLE start practicing better personal hygiene, we’re gonna continue to get sick, whether it’s swine flu or pink eye.
4) Obama winning the (heh-heh) Nobel (snicker) Peace Prize
Bwahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!! Well, it’s nice to have some comic relief during this past year. It was just getting waaayyyy too serious. As far as I know, it’s the only time that Comedy Central provided live coverage of the presentation of the award. OK so it wasn’t one of the top stories, but we surely did need the laugh.
3) The University of East Anglia Global Warming e-mail Scandal
Controversy exploded in late November when someone hacked into the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit and downloaded tens of thousands of e-mails (even zipped, the data weighed in at 62 megabytes). The e-mails exposed a conspiracy to hide research results detrimental to the claims of man-made global warming. They also discussed different ways scientists could “fix” the outcome of experiments to support the agendas of major global-warming advocacy groups desperate to show that global warming is real. The exposure of the fraud could not have come at a worse better time, just weeks before the global warming Convention in Copenhagen.
The authenticity of the e-mails was confirmed as genuine by Dr Phil Jones, head of the University’s Climate Research Unit.
2) Health Care
I don’t think the American public fully understands yet just what this is really all about. It’s not just about ruining what is arguably the world’s best health care system in terms of research, healing, and chances of recovery. It’s about the government taking control of 1/6th of the American economy and, in all probability, completely destroying the economy altogether with debt even our great-grandchildren will not be able to pay off.
Why else would the administration (and the whores of Congress) stoop to the levels they are lowering themselves to in order to cram it down our throats when numerous polls show that the American public is against this by a margin of approximately 3-1?
And my choice as the number one news story of the year in terms of its impact on the American Way of Life as we know it (inspired by an e-mail I received last week:
1) That couple who gained access to the White House with absolutely no credentials:
The real number one issue here? This is what you wind up with as President when you no longer have an unbiased media willing to vet all candidates and show no favoritism. It’s also what you get when you have an electorate too lazy to invest the time to really understand the issues facing the country and the impact of each party’s proposed solutions. In this case, you have a person with no credentials who used the race card early in the campaign to both slander rival John McCain by projecting the idea his campaign would use racism. An honest media would not have let that sneak by. As it turns out, the media’s ignorance of Obama’s lack of class and lack of credentials became a defacto endorsement. Between Chris Matthews “warm tingle” running up his leg, Keith Obermann’s desperate attempts to appear intelligent, and Katie Couric’s obvious school-girl type crush, Obama was given a virtual free ride. The only news network to question Obama was Fox and, for their efforts, they were labled racists as was anyone who did not also give Obama the free ride.
In the end, the lack of an objective free press hands over the gift of freedom to any zealot like Barack Obama whose agenda is to “fundamentally change America” into whatever vision he has.
Since taking office, the media has largely been silent as he bypassed the traditional route of having Senate Confirmation hearings for those who would help him run the government. The result was a self-admitted and devout communist (Van Jones) who was to officially be Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” but was seen by many as the man Obama tapped to help him build his private civilian army. The press (with the exception of Fox) looked the other way until Glenn Beck exposed Jones’s past… something any first-year journalism student would have jumped at, 25 years ago. But, sadly, not any more.
We wound up with a Tax Cheat (Timothy Gaitner) as Secretary of the Treasury. The press (with the exception of Fox) put their blinders on again. And again. And again.
Until we achieve the unlikely goal of having a media consisting of reporters free (and hungry) to vet ALL candidates from ALL political parties, we run the serious danger of winding up with another Obama down the road. The stakes are simply too high.
And Obama has three more years to go, apparently unchallenged by any major network or news source other than Fox. And Fox will continue to be marginalized by other members of the mainstream media too lazy or too caught up in their own agenda to do their job.
Let’s Hope for Real Change Our Constitution Can Live With in 2010, including the mid-term elections! In fact, forget about relying on hope. Let’s pledge to actively stand up and take this country back to the path of the constitution… a place where we no longer have to fear our own government’s hidden agenda… or the lack of a legitimate mainstream media to hold such politicians accountable.
And that is why I have chosen the number one story as I have. Not for the belly laugh provided by an e-mail gone viral, but the sad truth behind it.
H/T to various e-mail suggestions from our friends and readers.