The Chilean Miners. We all let this story slip away for a while after we first heard about the thirty-three men trapped almost 3 MILES below the surface. Then when they began drilling down, made contact and we learned they were all alive, we paid rapt attention. But still weren't hopeful a rescue could happen and waited with our hearts in our mouths.
Yet the important part of this story was that the Chileans, planned, executed and solved the problems themselves by using Chilean Navy engineers to design and build an ingenious 'inner space capsule' with only inches of clearance. They proudly proved their own talented people could implement the fantastic netherworld rescue effort without a single loss of life .... while we all watched LIVE on CNN from a Chilean TV news feed.
The world sigh of relief when the last man emerged moved the Earth a millimeter off it's axis and we all loved the Chileans. It was a totally shared story.
PS; This event revealed, that other countries in the world are competent and do not need the USA to always come and save them.
The Gulf Oil Blowout. This tragedy unfolded as we watched helplessly. Polluting the undersea with billowing clouds of crude oil before it was stopped. (if it actually was) It also signaled the fact that even the President of the United States is no longer in charge over corporations. When we expected Obama to take charge with some furious and positive action by bringing in the Navy or taking over the assets of British Petroleum, he stood meekly by while they were allowed to make one excuse after another to explain why they were not prepared in the first place. Whatever fines or results happen now to BP will be paid by the people of America in higher gasoline prices. And they'll only be filling BP's cash tank. Oil companies now rule the world. The environmental issue is yet to be fully assessed.
PS; The EXXON corporation still has not paid the fines after their Alaska Valdez oil spill disaster in 1989.
WikiLeaks.org. The web whistleblower organization released thousands of diplomatic cables relating mostly to embarrassing things American diplomats might have said about their contemporaries. Otherwise the revelations about the Iraq war were nothing that we didn't already suspect or know about by having seen video posts by soldiers in the war areas to YouTube! Those videos dispute the ability of so called 'embedded' reporters to file the truth in a war situation.
The US struck back quickly in the web world info wars by making out that the leaked news was endangering soldier's lives. The fight for free speech goes on with the enigmatic Julian Assange arrested and the US trying to figure out how to shut down WikiLeaks without more info being aired. But WikiLeaks, having foreseen this probability, had placed ironclad buffers in the way of predators who might be trying to control the world wide web, and has since been aided by more than 2000 mirror sites! Expect this fight to continue. Meanwhile the wars themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan have become secondary to the news about how they are being conducted. WikiLeaks continues to operate and the powers that be continue to shoot the messenger.
PS; The soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are now forbidden from having digital cameras and flash drives and have limited web access.
Tiger Woods. Just when the whole Golf TV industry had made the transition from 75 year old watchers to a younger demographic, Tiger goes and crashes into a tree, outside his house, and before the police can arrive, Elin, his wife, comes out and does a nine iron job on his head. In the frantic aftermath of this turmoil, it is revealed that Tiger, who never said a word that wasn't monitored and pre-approved by his handlers, is found out to have a girlfriend. And then another. And another. And as yet probably many more undiscovered waitresses and chambermaids. He takes off for some anti-stress leave aboard his billion dollar yacht. During which Elin leaves him with the other half of his fortune.
He returns to the tee and does poorly on the golf courses, and has lately embraced Buddhism to get him through the sunny fairway days and hopefully back to a winning mode. Why Buddhism? Maybe he likes the saffron robes? Maybe they don't restrict his swing?
Perhaps his handlers have figured out that it WAS the barmaids and lusty laundry ladies who helped his game and will arrange for live-in kitchen help or an upstairs maid. The only ones on Tiger's side seem to be those macho pickup truck drivers who don't actually golf but do know roadside diner waitresses.
Does anyone see a reality show here?
PS; One wonders if the Augusta National Golf Club has any more black members than the janitor they hastily signed up when it was first revealed that while Tiger Woods could play there, they had no black membership?
North Korea. The leader that everyone made fun of, Kim Jong Il, (you know, the one with big-silly-head syndrome) has handed down control of the country as his father did, to his son, Jong-un. Jong-un promptly shelled a South Korean island off his coast, to flex his pasty muscles, killing two people and almost sending the country into another Korean War, even a world war. The situation was tense.
South Korea replied with live fire maneuvers. The tension rose. The US sent the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, and is committed to helping South Korea and indeed, still has 28,000 American troops in that country! China has military support obligations to the North Koreans.
Then the tension suddenly dissipated as the US realized it had thousands of corporate business connections working in China and owed the Chinese so many trillions of dollars that a war would be disastrous. And China realized that they are now the only ones supporting the US economy and a war meant they wouldn't get their money. Ahh, much better.
Just both of you North-South children get along now.
So China goes on building into the new world leader and controller of America and the US goes on printing money to pay them for their toxic goods. Peace again.
PS; No news media mentions that the Chinese government is still the same old communist system and that the US government is that same old democracy they are trying to instill all around the world. Shhh.
Haiti Earthquake. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastates the capital, Port-au-Prince, and kills 230,000 people. A worldwide effort moves to help the desperate slum dwelling people. Countries, doctors, nurses, movie stars, rescue organizations, all try to stem the death toll. No one places any blame on the existing government for allowing the conditions to exist that made this tragic event's consequences possible.
The history of the corrupt rich dominating the poor in that country goes on. And traces way back to the rule of Papa Doc Duvalier, who ruled by his own militia, cults, voodoo and violence by the dreaded Tontons Macoutes, Haiti's secret police. In spite of the world wide effort the country is descending into confusion, disease and more corruption. French speaking countries continue to pour money into Haiti, in vain hopes that it will keep the language alive. But no one knows where it goes.
PS; This story was told in 1967 in a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton called The Comedians. Nothing has changed since.
Vancouver Winter Olympics. Own the podium was a precarious slogan. In the past our athletes were lucky to even see a podium, but when Alex Bilodeau ran the icy hill in Whistler to his gold medal, we were thrilled. Then another and another, until we had an electric feeling that lasted the whole 17 days and totaled 26 medals! Our hearts were truly glowing and we thought the best was the haul; 5 bronze, 7 silver and best of all, 14 gold, more than any other country competing! We DID own the podium.
But there was the one thing that made it all perfect. Hockey. Canada is the force of hockey in the world. It would have been all a bust without gold in hockey. And Roberto Luongo scared the hell out of us, letting in a tying goal in the last 21 seconds, sending the game into overtime!
They say the greatest athletes love being down. They love needing to come back from the brink, because they have imagined that scenario since they were children. That magic moment when they are the one who wins it all. And Syd the Kid said it himself, 'Every boy who played street hockey has been in the final game with it all on the line.' Sydney Crosby made up his mind and wrote the ending himself.
Gold in Hockey in a Canadian Winter Olympics! Oh Canada!
PS; The streets of Vancouver were like a 60s hippie love-in. Us older folks had Expo 86 as their greatest party. Now a new generation got theirs in 2010. Will there ever be another moment of that pride?
News that should have been mainstream:
Truth Suppression. World wide investigative reporting continues to decline. Newspapers continue to be condensed into fewer owners. TV news stations report entertainment and 'stories'. Governments and corporations control and decide the news. Institutions, scientists, investigators speaking out the truth are insulted, chagrined, vilified, and molested.
And in the most extreme cases, murdered.
To date, in Iraq and Afghanistan, 139 independent reporters, those who are NOT embedded with a military group and must find their own way around, and dig out their own truths, have been killed. Often under mysterious circumstances. Even respected journalists from prestige news organizations like Reuters. That fact should be on the front page of every newspaper in North America. WikiLeaks should not have to be the one to 'reveal' it.
Truthful information that gets to the people is diminishing. The consequences of this shift are yet to be determined.
- the vuvuzela
- Berlusconi and Sarkozy's escapades
- H1N1 influenza pandemic
- a new arsenic based life form discovered in California
- Texas schoolbook maker rewriting American history
- Lady Gaga's meat
- Global warming
- George W. Bush
Wishing the best to all in 2011.