Before 2013 gets under way, let us look back at some of the stories in 2012 that really left an indelible impression on our lives. The stories that helped shape the year 2012 for us. The stories that makes us all breathe a collective sigh of relief as we watch them pass in our rear-view mirror. I for one am glad that the Mayan prediction turned out to be wrong, however for some people it might have seemed if the end had come to pass. I don’t want to make it seem that there were only negative stories prevalent last year, because there were some heartwarming events and acts of benevolence that took place during the year as well. But if history has taught us anything, it is the life altering, attention grabbing stories seem to stand out the most and stick in the craw of our memories. And without further ado, the top 10 (actually 11) stories of 2012.
1. Debt ceiling/fiscal cliff
The inability of our Congress, namely the HOR’s Republican representatives, who almost chose their hatred of our president and their donors best interests’ over the longevity and prosperity of our nation. Unfortunately, this issue will be happening again in a few months when it comes to the debt ceiling and the budget cuts being discussed again in March. Let’s hope we learned our lesson and we choose compromise of our demise.
2. Gun violence/ gun control
It is a sad day in any country when innocent people are killed in war. But it is even a sadder day when they are killed in a war that they did not know was being waged. The people that died tragically in the events that unfolded in Newton, Aurora, Oakland, Wisconsin, and slew of other places (16 mass shootings in all this year) didn’t even know that a war was being waged. The people that will not allow any reform of the 2nd amendment, chiefly the NRA, are waging a war against the people of this country by allowing the sell of military style weapons to civilians. Guns are not completely to blame. The people that perpetrate these heinous crimes would still find a way to cause misery and pain to other people. They were mentlaly unstable and had the capacity to want to hurt others. Some people are just bad seeds. But they were able to do so on a scale that was much more devastating than they would have been able to if they did not have access to such overwhelmingly destructive weaponry.
3. Obama re-elected
In what can only be described as the most expensive, lavish, over-the-top candidacy in the modern era of politics, the American people overwhelmingly chose once again to have Barrack Obama run their country. It was reported that more than 1/2 billion dollars was spent by both candidates to become the POTUS. I think that future generations will now know that the president isn’t just a figurehead and indeed wields some real power. What it should also let people realize is that there is a lot of big money out there that is scared of having limitations put on what they do. Let’s hope that Barrack is up to the challenge of standing up to these people and that it doesn’t end the way it did for Lincoln and Kennedy when he does.
4. Hurricane Sandy
I would hope that the naysayers and opponents of global warming would stand up and take notice of the super storms that have been occurring with much more frequency and severity in places where they didn’t occur before. But what was more impressive to me was the resiliency of the NY and NJ people as a whole. They banded together in a time of need and took care of each other. Unfortunately, again the GOP in Congress allowed their party line divide to stop them from helping people when help was needed. It is true that the same people that want to limit government turn to government in time of need one of the many functions of a big government), but to turn your back on fellow Americans, what a shameful display by politicians that are supposed to hold office because they want to help their fellow Americans.
5. Trayvon Martin/ Stand your ground law
In what can only be considered a cold blooded murder that occurred in Florida, a man claiming to be part of the neighborhood watch chased and gun downed a boy in his neighborhood who looked suspicious because he was Black and wearing a hoody. The boy was armed with only a bag of skittles and his Black skin. However a law that was passed earlier that year protected the man’s actions because he was “standing his ground.” The passing and enforcement of laws like this help peel back the thin veneer of equality exposing the racism that is still prevalent in this country today. This law gives White people the ability to declare “open season” on Black people in this area and the NRA has made sure they have the weaponry to do it.
6. Penn State aftermath
Sandusky finally was convicted of the horrendous atrocities that he perpetrated to the young boys that were in his care. Unfortunately the university , the state, and police department that knew and did nothing about his crimes, will not have anything done to them as a result. The victims still remain victims, with at least getting some justice with their attacker behind bars. But the last victim, the football program took the brunt of the blame with fines, sanctions, and a black cloud hanging over it for years and years to come. It needs to be remembered that it was the action of one man, independent of the football program that perpetrated these crimes. Yes, there was a cover up, but the people who covered it up are not being prosecuted. And I for one think that the last victim of the Sandusky reign of terror was Joe Paterno himself who died of a broken heart when everyone turned on him. When he had his suspicions he handed it off to the authorities as he was meant to do, he was no longer a coach, and did nothing to the college players or recruits. He did all that he could do in a system that did nothing when he asked it to.
7. Egypt part 2
From one dictator to the next. New riots broke out again in Tahir square when newly “elected” president Muhammad Morsi decided that the best way to help his country was to absorb all political power of all the political agencies in government. He essentially became the new-aged Pharaoh of Egypt. Clearly the people who protested and rose up against the despotic rule of Gaddafi did not like this and it sparked an uprising that resulted in more deaths and Mosri’s eventual fleeing from the country. Will the ME ever work out their political problems? Only time will tell, but I think it is only fair that we allow them the ability to do so without the outside influence of our country. We might know what is best for us (which at times it doesn’t seem we do) but it would be disastrous for us to supplant a ruler in their country that is best for them, when their needs and our needs are so drastically different.
8. Gay Marriage
Who can forget the whole Chik-fil-a anti gay marriage protest? It still boggles my mind that people are so opposed to gay marriage. I am not sure what archaic mentality they are holding onto that does not allow for them to be happy that 2 people have found each other and want to spend their lives together. Especially with the rate of divorce in this country, perhaps their time would be better served trying to help married people stay married rather than persecute people that want to dive head first into a life long commitment. However, 2 more states this November voted to allow same sex marriage to be recognized in their states, Maine and Maryland. That now makes same sex marriage legal in 9 states. Slowly but surely, the USA will climb out of the dark ages.
Bashar al-Assad is still waging a deadly war against his own people with over 60 thousand dead in a mass genocide he is perpetrating against his own people and their plight for democracy. This continues to be a tense battle in this region. Syria is basically the Soviet’s Israel, and it prevents the US from stepping in and doing anything directly. The violence has been spilling into neighboring democratic republic of Turkey, and is dangerously close to sparking up the conflict in the middle east that we have been trying to quell for the last, ummm, 2 thousand years. This is only going to result in more death, more suffering, and hopefully not another Afghanistan for the US. I hope this has a better ending in 2013, but I fear more of the same terror and bloodshed will be the result from this region.
10. Legalization of pot in Washington State and Colorado
In a surprise move the voters of Washington and Colorado decided to be more like Cheech and Chong than the other 48 states by voting to legalize marijuana. Cashing in on a huge revenue earner, the legalization of pot will do many things for these states. It will mean that a lot less minorities and youth will go to jail for marijuana related crimes, it will mean more revenue for the state, it will allow people that are suffering from illness that can’t afford pharmaceutical drugs to ease their suffering will now be able to have a safer, more affordable remedy, and it means that stock in Taco Bell and Doritos will go thru the roof. It is only a matter of time until California follows suit and when it does, and the rest of the nation sees our money problems fade in a matter of months, the whole nation will follow suit. I also have a feeling this will be putting a damper on the strength of a lot of the Mexican drug cartels. Only time will tell what the, ummm, the ummmm, the long term effects, of…..uhhhh, ummmm of marijuana will be.
10. Last flight of Space shuttle Endeavor
The space program is now officially dead. The hopes and dreams of millions of small children to grow up one day and be the ultimate explorer and hero, to venture out into the the dark recesses of space is now over. The space shuttle Endeavor made its much ballyhooed journey to its final resting place at the Science and History Museum in Los Angeles, California where it will be on display for all to see. What is great is that future generations will be able to look and marvel at how creative and innovative Americans used to be as their guides translate it from Chinese.
of course other monumental things happened in 2012 as well
-murder of an ambassador in Libya, and then the fall out here as a result
-Kate Middleton’s prenancy