When looking back and having to decide what were the biggest events or most memorable moments or people of 2011… it is tough, which matches the year itself… overall a tough year for the United States, for the World, and for Americans.
So what was the biggest event of 2011? The Japanese tsunami, the US or European debt crises, or the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il, Muammar Gaddafi, or even Steve Jobs? Or was it something else that stands out in your mind? Do you prefer to think of the more fun or pleasant moments like the Royal Weddings in Great Britain or Monaco?
In a year where the world's population reached 7 billion (October 31 in the Gregorian Year MMXI ) perhaps in terms of enormity the following events can be considered (in reverse 'countdown' order of importance) the biggest, most memorable last. No matter where you stand politically the events below affected us all in one way or another…
Honorable Mention – The Birth of GBTV
Glenn Beck gave up his show on Fox News in 2011 at the top of his game to develop a network for the future so he could say and do what he thought was necessary to help America survive. He gave up his high-profile, high paying job which included a spacious apartment in New York City to build an online network from scratch and fund it all himself. Check out GBTV… and consider subscribing. Also, join Glenn this coming summer in Dallas for Restoring Love… A Celebration of Service
NUMBER FIFTEEN – Anthony Weiner Scandal
The Weiner scandal is not important because of Anthony Weiner. It is important because of the connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Clintons that were ignored by the media; because it points out the dangers of allowing your children on social media sites; and because it illustrates the depravity of many of the people in Congress and government.
NUMBER FOURTEEN - GOP presidential race (Next Year unless something catastrophic happens the Presidential race should be story #2 or #3 and the election itself should be #1… it will be the election of our lifetime!!)
From Donald Trump to Herman Cain, the Republican race to pick a presidential nominee has been a roller-coaster ride. Businessman Trump flirted with the idea of jumping into the GOP field, but has decided instead to wait and see who the nominee is, floating the idea that he may run as an independent. The GOP electorate, hungry to find an opponent for President Obama, has kept politicos on the edge of their seats, bouncing from frontrunner to frontrunner over several months. Cain, once one of the top candidates, was forced to suspend his campaign after a series of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. (Funny how his accusers vanished as soon as Cain dropped out of the race.)
But more than the distractions, the race has forced introspection by Republicans on what their priorities are, likely making a choice between a candidate who represents ideological purity or one with the best chances of winning the White House. Plus on the fringe are the stories of who didn’t run and the uncertainty of who actually still might jump in as a GOP or 3rd Party candidate this late in the game. For now the juggling of last minute positions for the January 3rd Iowa Caucuses is keeping everyone engaged as we roll into 2012.
NUMBER THIRTEEN - Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
After years of lobbying by liberal and gay rights groups, Obama fulfills one of his election promises with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The law was signed by President Obama despite protests from some military leaders, notably from the Marines, who claimed the change in policy would interrupt service and potential weaken the military. After months of preparation, the policy was officially ended as of September 2011. Whether you are for or against this change, it is a major change!
NUMBER TWELVE - Shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
On January 8th, Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents when she and 18 others were shot at a shopping center near Tucson. Six people were killed, including a federal judge, though Giffords, who was shot point blank in the head, survived. The shooter, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, was declared incompetent to stand trial and has not revealed why he tried to kill Giffords. The incident, which took place soon after a politically divisive midterm election, prompted discussion about the heated rhetoric politicians and others employ. The incident provided ‘ammunition’ for the gun control crowd, but both Giffords and her astronaut husband remain pro-second amendment.
NUMBER ELEVEN - NASA's Space Shuttle Program Concluded
Atlantis' last, Flight STS-135, concluded the final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program when it lands back at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21. 135 missions were flown between 1981 and 2011. Besides its launching of space probes, satellites, and work with the International Space Station, the Program's most memorable legacy might, unfortunately, be the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia disasters. And now a nation that led the world into space has to hitch a ride…
NUMBER TEN - Twin Terrorist Attacks in Norway
The world was shocked when it learned of the 76-people killed in simultaneous attacks in Oslo and the island of Utoya on July 22nd. What was designed by the terrorist to divide the country actually united it-in its grief. It also compelled many democracies to reconsider their approach to justice for such situations.
NUMBER NINE - Steve Jobs' Death
Whilst the death of Steve Jobs (October 5th) pales in significance when compared with other critical world events for the year, there is no question the impact of such a life, and therefore his death, had on the world. Millions of tributes are written as the world lamented the passing of a technological genius.
NUMBER EIGHT - Horn of Africa Famine
Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are enveloped in a famine affecting the lives and livelihoods of nearly 15 million people; the worst in 30-60 years. Various aid agencies are working together in the troubled regions to assist as they can, and to promote the plight of these ultra-poor to the comparatively rich Western world. This crisis touches the heart for the sheer size of the famine and resultant desolation as well as the comparative apathy of the world's response.
NUMBER SEVEN - Muammar Gaddafi Killed
Reports of the October 20th death of the Libyan dictator streamed across the airwaves. It was a win not only for the local people, but for democracy and the ‘hope’ for the wider region. A bigger than life character on the world stage came to a smaller end. Just two months earlier, during the Battle of Tripoli, Libyan rebels ousted Gadaffi's regime. But in reality the outcome may not be as hoped or portrayed by the powers that be.
NUMBER SIX - North Korean "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il Dies
On December 17th, North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack at age 69. News broke slowly over national television and filtered into the international community within 48-hours as many brainwashed North Korean nationals enter into severe mourning. (Many questioned what happened to our intelligence.) Soon the mooted successor emerged: Kim Jong-Il's youngest son Kim Jong-Un. This event has caused widespread interest and concern for regional and global threats because of political instability. A one million strong genocide and a one million strong army are the legacies of Kim Jong-Il and there is no sign that there will be much change.
NUMBER FIVE - US Debt-Ceiling Crisis
In late July, the culmination of 30 years of growing debt, together with the consequences of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, saw the United States government days from shutting; as a result the embattled Congress and President Barack Obama maneuvered the Budget Control Act 2011 through legislature. The US government credit rating was downgraded for the first time in the nation's history. It is an event that should immediately have changed the way Washington operated. In reality it has done nothing.
NUMBER FOUR - Osama bin Laden Killed
One of the biggest news events of 2011, for the sheer legend of one terrorist's destructive legacy, occurred on May 1st. Bin Laden's death brought an outpouring of emotion worldwide, significantly happening just months before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Whether the details released to the public were accurate is a subject for another day… Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera said the news of Bin Laden’s death coming in during his show was the highlight of his career.
Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik gives finishing touches to a sand sculpture to mark the killing of Osama bin Laden at the golden sea beach at Puri, Orissa, India on Monday, May 2nd, 2011.
NUMBER THREE (Tied) - Impending Collapse of the Euro
The economies of Greece and Italy, among others (Greece and Italy were among the nations termed PIIGS… Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain… all EU nations teetering on the brink), have severely stretched the sustainability of the Euro. Momentous political and economic reforms have been made as the Euro system teeters on the brink of collapse, which threatens to drag the world into a prolonged recession, if not depression. How this plays out could very well cause the same in the United States, especially with the latest word that the Fed are bailing them out… which means you, the American taxpayer.
NUMBER THREE (Tied) – Arab Spring
The protests that began in Tunisia and spread throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa eventually become known as the Arab Spring. Fueled by unemployed young citizens and frustration with longtime leaders and corrupt police, the protests have prompted the overthrow of three leaders, in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya as well as upheaval in the entire region (notably Syria) and the initial theoretical hope of the emergence of democratic elections. Other leaders have vowed to step down from power when their current terms end. Though the protests are reported to have began as nonviolent home-grown or grassroots type of endeavors, struggles in many of the countries have been bloody and have become International in scope. It was difficult to decide whether this should have been number one or two because of the long reaching effects it will have as the Muslim Brotherhood takes hold of one country after another that used to be at least somewhat stable and somewhat friendly to Israel and the United States… the West.
NUMBER TWO – The U.S. Economy
Over 44-million Americans are now on food stamps and the only reason the U.S. unemployment figures are not officially between 11% and 23% (depending on the area and state) instead of the manipulated 8.5% to 9.5% national figures, as they have been portrayed this past year, is that the employment pool has shrunk. People retired early, stopped looking for work and are living off of savings or family and friends, or are under-employed and are working part-time or at much lower paying jobs than they had previously been or were trained for. Or they have been transferred onto the rolls of welfare, food-stamps and other government social programs. And there are now more homeless in America than at almost anytime in U.S. history.
The U.S. housing market is in shambles. The the U.S. government almost shut down this past summer after we lost our AAA credit rating. And the Obama White House thinks that the U.S. taxpayer is his piggy bank. And yep… Obama is asking for another 1.2 trillion raise of the debt ceiling.
And for those hoping things will improve… without changing the president and a good portion of Congress, wake-up. We now have military personal returning from Iraq needing jobs. Sears and K-Mart just announced they are closing 100 stores. And General Electric is planning to move its 115-year-old X-ray division from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Beijing. In addition to moving the headquarters, the company will invest $2 billion in China and train more than 65 engineers and create six research centers. This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year, but paid no taxes-the same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the United States and whose head, Jeffrey Immelt was appointed by Obama as his Job Czar.
NUMBER ONE - Japan Earthquake and Subsequent Tsunami
The March 11th, 14:46hrs (Japan Standard Time), a 9.1 Magnitude Tohoku undersea mega thrust quake, with an epicenter 70 km from dry land, at a relatively shallow underwater depth of 32 km, hits the mainland of Japan, followed by a devastating tsunami shortly after. The biggest secondary impact is on Sendai and the Fukushima nuclear power plant, initiating a protracted national nuclear emergency. At an estimated economic cost of US$235 billion, the World Bank rates it as the most expensive natural disaster on record. Almost 16,000 people die, almost 6,000 people are injured, and some 3,600 are listed still missing, from 18 prefectures. Significantly, this earthquake shifts earth minutely off its axis and the true effects of the radiation are still not truly known. (Like the BP Gulf Spill, it is a disaster that after the initial coverage has been swept under the rug.)
The Royal Weddings… (When you have some time, you might want to do some research on ‘the Royals’ and their connections and loyalties!) But the wedding photos are beautiful!
Notable Celebrity Deaths of 2011
Steve Jobs (Feb 24, 1955- Oct 5, 2011), founder of Apple and an incredible technological mind, died at only 56 years of age after a long battle with cancer. His innovative mind transformed the way people compute, enjoy music, and connect with his Apple products.
Elizabeth Taylor (Feb 27, 1932- Mar 23, 2011), a renowned actress famous for her beauty and her devotion to charities, died after suffering from congestive heart failure. Taylor was a two-time Oscar winner and was well-known for her commitment to fight AIDS.
Christopher Hitchens (Apr 13, 1949- Dec 15, 2011), the famous atheist and British author who gained a lot of media attention after questioning the popular devotion to Mother Teresa, also struggled with cancer. He was a popular columnist for a number of magazines, including The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, and others.
Muammar Gaddafi (Jun 1942- Oct 20, 2011), former ruler of Libya, was killed by rebel forces in Sirte after a prolonged battle to oust him from the country. Gaddafi was a vicious dictator who ruled Libya for nearly four decades, and the recent uprising of the Arab Spring brought angry rebels to overthrow him in the midst of much bloodshed.
Amy Winehouse (Sept 14, 1983- Jul 23, 2011) was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. Winehouse had risen to fame after the release of her “Back to Black” album. Reports from her coroner concluded that she had died from alcohol poisoning after years of addiction.
2 –Actor Pete Postlethwaite, age 64, pancreatic cancer
3 — Actress Anne Francis, age 80, lung cancer
4 — Singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty, age 63, after a long illness
8 –Canadian actor Peter Donaldson, 57, cancer
11 — Canadian actor Al Kozlik, 76, stroke
15 –Stage director Michael Langham, 91, natural causes
23 — Jack LaLanne, father of the fitness movement, age 96, pneumonia
24 –Canadian dancer Lois Smith, 81, complications from Alzheimer’s
16 –Actor Len Lesser (aka Seinfeld’s “Uncle Leo”), age 88, cancer-related pneumonia
28 –Actress Jane Russell, age 89, respiratory illness
8 –Alice in Chains bassist Mike Star, age 44, drugs and alcohol overdose
15 –Musician Nate Dogg (aka Nathaniel Dwayne Hale), age 41, heart failure
17 — Actor Michael Gough (Alfred the Butler in the Burton/Schumacher Batman films), age 94, natural causes
21 — Soul/disco singer Loleatta Holloway, age 64, heart failure
23 –Actress Elizabeth Taylor, age 79, heart failure
26 –Air Farce actor Roger Abbott, age 64, chronic lymphocytic leukemia
9 — Director Sidney Lumet, age 87,
25 –Singer Poly Styrene (aka Marianne Joan Elliott-Said), age 53, cancer
26 — Singer Phoebe Snow, age 60, complications resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage
20 –Randy “Macho Man” Savage, age 58, heart attack followed by car crash
27 –Actor Jeff Conaway, age 60, pneumonia
30 — Actress Clarice Taylor (“Cosby Show” grandman), age 93, congestive heart failure
3 — Actor James Arness (Gunsmoke), age 88, natural causes
18 –Saxaphonist Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band), age 69, complications from stroke
20 –Jackass star Ryan Dunn, age 34, car accident
23 — Actor Peter Falk (Columbo), age 83, cardio respiratory arrest with pneumonia
12 –Sherwood Schwartz (Brady Bunch creator), age 94, natural causes
21 –Elwy Yost, Canadian film historian and TV host, age 86, natural causes
23 –Soul-pop singer Amy Winehouse, age 27, alcohol poisoning
3 — Actor/NFLer Bubba Smith, age 66, drug intoxication and heart disease
10 –Jani Lane (frontman of rockband Warrant), age 47, alcohol poisoning
15 –Russell Armstrong (“Real Housewives” husband), age 47, suicide
22 –Actor Michael Showers, age 45, drowning
22 –R&B singer Nick Ashford, age 70, throat cancer
29 –Bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards, age 96, heart failure
10 — Actor Cliff Robertson, age 88, natural causes
15 –Canadian actress Frances Bay, age 92, complications from pneumonia
30 –Alexander Grant, former artistic director of National Ballet of Canada, age 86, natural causes
5 — Actor Charles Napier, age 75, natural causes
8 –Mikey Welsh (former Weezer bassist), age 40, suspected drug overdose leading to heart attack
3 –Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot (aka Flattus Maximus), age 34, undetermined
4 — Journalist Andy Rooney (60 Minutes), age 92, complications from surgery
8 –Rapper Heavy D, age 44, pneumonia
8 –Cartoonist Bill Keane (“Family Circus”), age 89, unknown
19 –John Neville, actor and former artistic director of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, age 86, natural causes
21 — Sci-fi writer Anne McCaffrey, age 85, stroke
27 — Director Ken Russell, age 84, natural causes
7 –Actor Harry Morgan (Col. Potter on M*A*S*H), age 96, pneumonia
8 — Comics writer Jerry Robinson, age 89,
15 — Writer/politico Christopher Hitchens, age 62, complications from cancer
26 — Comedy writer Joe Bodolai, age 63, suicide by poisoningc
Time Magazine’s Person of the Year
But sorry Tea Party… you didn't make the cut, again. Only Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring protestors were apparently worthy of inclusion.
The honor of Time magazine's 2011 "Person of the Year" goes to "the protester" - from the demonstrators across the Arab world to the Occupy Wall Street movement that continues to make headlines.
"In the U.S., three acute and overlapping money crises - tanked economy, systemic financial recklessness, gigantic public debt - along with ongoing revelations of double dealing by banks, new state laws making certain public-employee-union demands illegal and the refusal of Congress to consider even slightly higher taxes on the very highest incomes mobilized Occupy Wall Street and its millions of supporters," Kurt Andersen writes in the cover story about the protesters.
"Millions of supporters?" Wha? Who? WTF? There were barely 200 Occupy San Francisco protestors at a demonstration last weekend. The big protest planned by the OWS this week - to shut down every port between San Diego and Alaska - fizzled so badly that the press was forced to forget about reporting the original goal. Most ports saw little or no protest activity at all. Only one port was shut down - the Port of Oakland.
If they Tea Party had boasted about closing the ports and then have the demonstrations flop as badly as OWS, it would have been headline news.
There were no "millions" of supporters and there never have been. Nobody knows what to support because the OWS crowd has yet to come up with any specifics to oppose - except hate the bankers and the rich.
I would have only included the Arab Spring protestors because they have indeed brought about change, although most of them are probably not going to like the kinds of changes they have wrought. But now that cities have cleaned the rabble out of their encampments, when is the media going to start winding down their hagiagrphic coverage of a movement with little mass and even less coherence?
Excerpt from the NoisyRoom’s
…Time, did not see it that way. Instead they chose a
Marxist/terrorist, er, Protester as Person of the Year. In 2010, which was unwaveringly the year of the Tea Party, they didn’t mention Tea Partiers at all, even though millions protested in peace with no arrests, violence or garbage left behind. The media labeled them radicals and terrorists, which is the epitome of irony considering what the Occupiers actually are and stand for. Same for 2011 for the Tea Party – crickets. But in a move that Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of, the Occupiers grace Time’s cover this year.
But the joke is on Time and the rest of the MSM that are in the tank for Obama and the Progressives on both sides of the aisle. The Tea Party is growing stronger day by day even without face time. Americans recognize the US is in deep, deep doodoo and are fed up with politicians in general.
Instead they are turning towards candidates with American values such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. Voters have put Tea Party candidates in the House and Senate and that trend will only continue. The Left took a beating in 2010, but baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Come 2012, there’s gonna be an ass whooping of epic proportions. And guess what? That includes the RINOs on the right. Progressives on both sides of the aisle are about to have their collective bottoms spanked big time by the voters. Americans are not dumb and they’ve just about had enough. Don’t underestimate the Tea Party – they are the Progressive’s worst nightmare.
So, we welcome 2012 as the ‘Year of Freedom Restored in America!’ It is fitting that January is ‘Hot Tea Month.’ And honey, the Tea Party is just getting warmed up. We are taking our country back and cleaning house. We are researching and exposing all those naughty Progressives who have been so instrumental in trying to bring this great nation to her knees.
The Tea Party fought a rough and tough battle in 2011. And they’ll win the war for the Republic in 2012 if they stick to their guns and chase the corrupt bastards out of office. Whether with votes or tar and feathers, it’s going to be one hell of a ride and I would not miss it for the world.
And let’s not forget Loukanikos, Athens' Protest Dog
Time Magazine Runners Up
Trials and Homecomings
The last combat troops leave Iraq… Too early say the Generals and experts, but God Bless you and welcome home!!
New Year's Eve might just be the only time of year when "dropping the ball" is a good thing. And this year, nearly 1.5 million people were expected to ring in 2012 by watching the shimmery ball make its descent in Times Square;
Make sure your New Years’ Resolutions are bigger than yourself. You will have a lot better chance of keeping them and making them happen!!
Happy New Year 2012
Auld Lang Syne by Sissel
For 2012… 40,000 New Laws on the books…