The Top Ten news stories of 2011
Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger,...
LOS ANGELES, December 31, 2011 ― As the clock ticks down to midnight and 2012 turns from expectation to reality, it is time to take a look at the Top Ten News Stories of 2011.
These lists are always controversial, so to forestall the inevitable argument, the list is the way it is simply because I said so. It’s my column, not yours.
Several big stories have been excluded: The MF Global Bankruptcy, America leaving Iraq, and the death of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il should not make the cut. People making lists have a habit of elevating recent events, as more important events go out of mind once they are out of sight. Also, these events all have the potential to lead to very serious and important situations in the near future. However, the exact consequences as of now are unknown. The stories have not been written yet. Therefore, accelerating history shall take a back seat to watching events unfold.
For this exact same reason, the S & P downgrade of America and the the financial crises in Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain do not make the list. If the entire Euro collapses, that is a story. Potential collapse is only a possibility, one which we hope will be avoided.
The ten year anniversary of September 11th, 2001, does not make the cut. 9/11 was the most important news story of the previous decade, and will be with many of us forever. However, Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 lived in infamy. The 70th anniversary on 12/7/11 was a remembrance of a prior significant moment. 9/11/11 is no different.
The deaths of Steve Jobs and Christopher Hitchens do not make the list because no single man is indispensable. Truly great men leave legacies behind. Mr. Jobs left an organization that will carry on ably now that he is gone. Mr. Hitchens left brilliant works that inflamed and educated. Both Mr. Jobs and Mr. Hitchens will inspire future thinkers. Yet technological advancements and theological arguments existed before them and will be around long after them.
First came the list of the Top 10 News Stories from the past decade.
With 2000-2009 done, the list from 2010 came and went.
Here are the Top 10 News Stories of 2011.
10. NPR Implodes: For decades NPR has been a welfare child, accepting money from the government to push a left-wing ideological agenda. Thanks to undercover reporter James O’Keefe and his friends, NPR was finally exposed. At a secretly recorded luncheon, representatives of the company laughed as men pretending to be Arabs praised “National Palestinian Radio.” Leftist President Vivian Schiller, the woman who fired Juan Williams for not being hateful enough toward the right, insisted NPR was not liberal. Within days she resigned. The only sad part of this story is that Congress is too gutless to permanently cut off all funding for this political advocacy group. Liberals cry about killing Big Bird. Let Pelosi pay for it or kill the bird instead of a Thanksgiving turkey next year.
9. Election 2012 Non-Candidates: While several people actually did run for President, much more attention was paid to people who declined to run. Saviors from all around the country ranged from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Wisconsin Congressman Ryan, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Florida Congressman Colonel Allen West. All four of these men were relatively new, with three of them in their first term. They were all right to decline to run. They have important jobs to do, and kept their promises to the voters who elected them. Speculation focused on other high profile names from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Businessman and Celebrity Apprentice Donald Trump. Only when it became clear that the field as set was final did people finally start coming to terms with their choices. Some still want a last minute savior. This will not happen.
8. Occupy Wall Street: While these people were utterly insignificant as an actual movement, they were good for columnists out of ideas. These savage miscreants tried to be leftist antidote to the Tea Party, but ran into a small problem. The Tea Party actually stands for something. OWS are a collection of misfits who despise each other almost as much as the Wall Street bankers they claim to care about. OWS are people simply looking for free stuff, when not engaging in other hobbies such as rape, drug use, and vandalism. Since they are a coordinated mob organized by David Axelrod, the reelection of Barack Obama will be their only hope for survival. The police are partly to blame regarding their use of force. They have not used enough.
7. Japanese Earthquake: On March 11th of this year, Japan changed forever. The country was rocked by a 9.0 Earthquake that claimed over 15,000 lives. Almost 3,500 people are still missing. The ensuing tsunami was so powerful that it even caused some damage to the United States West Coast. Hawaii and Los Angeles escaped, but for a few hours people in these cities wondered if life would go on as usual. The most powerful Japanese quake was also the fifth greatest quake in world history. There have been 900 aftershocks since, with 60 of them over 6.0 and three greater than 7.0. Even with one billion dollars in donations reported by the American Red Cross, it will take decades for Japan to get back to where it was, if ever.
6. Penn State Sex Scandal: One minute the Nittany Lions were on their way to a BCS Bowl Game and even an outside shot at the national college football championship. Then the school was rocked by allegations that former longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky molested young boys he met through a charity he founded. He was discovered in the shower with a boy in a Penn State locker room engaging in a sex act. Even worse than these horrific acts was the fact that people in the football program did the bare minimum in response. The code of silence led to many more boys being victimized, as winning football games trumped honor and decency. In the end, everybody lost. Legendary Joe Paterno was fired midseason after 46 years at age 84. The school is in tatters. Yet one positive came out of the tragedy. The code of silence is now being broken elsewhere. A Syracuse basketball coach was just fired for similar allegations. Hopefully more victims, and more importantly, witnesses, will come forward.
5. Election 2012 Candidates: While virtually all 300 million Americans contemplated running for President, some actually did enter the race. The candidates can be divided into two tiers. The lower tier consists of candidates without enough support or name recognition to be included in most or any of the debates. Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer and gay activist Fred Karger are still running. Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter entered briefly and then dropped out. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson just dropped out this week from the GOP primary and is now trying to win the Libertarian nomination.
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