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My Top Ten of Eleven
Occupy Fresno Courthouse Park 10DEC11
My Top Ten of Eleven
1. 17DEC10 Arab Spring/Occupy movement
This actually started in late 2010 when Mohamed Bouazizi set himself afire to protest the corruption and unfair treatment in Tunisia. This would be the spark that set the fires of protest in Egypt. Soon after, when folks in Libya, Yemen and Syria saw what protests, rallies and marches could do to galvanize public opinion they also took to the streets. When Americans saw the news reports and heard the Tweets of the brave marchers in the middle east it inspired the Occupy movement, starting in Zucotti Park on Wall Street in New York City. From there it has spread all around the world and is still growing in these final days of 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring
The world is smaller and so instantly inter-connected with Twitter and other benefits of the internet. It reminds me so much of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when that country was inter-connected with fax machines so that the populace could instantly communicate with each other unhindered by state control. They all knew the same thing at the same time. The people in the middle east suddenly have all the benefits of internet access and they all know the same thing at the same time. I believe we are on the eve of an amazing worldwide democratization because of the internet that may be greater than anything that has come before. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement
2. 8JAN11 Gabrielle Giffords Shooting in Tucson AZ.
This tragic event did more to make conservative propagandists tone down and dial back the hateful rhetoric than anything in recent memory. A new era of civility has been ushered in on the floor of the House and the Senate. It was easier for a severely mentally ill guy to buy a
gun and ammo than to get treatment for his illness. Rep. Giffords’ district was targeted for action with ominous rifle sights. Some one had shot out the glass door to her office and it wasn’t a stretch to imagine that this nutbag heard the angry rhetoric and saw it on tv and was influenced by it. This was the turning point that eventually led to the implosion of Sarah Palin’s political career. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Tucson_shooting.
3. 11MAR11 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster
This effectively killed the proposed nuclear powerplant in Fresno County. We all know there’s earthquake faultlines all up and down our central valley. Why in the world would we jeopardize the most productive, money-making Ag industry in the world to force a Nuclear powerplant here when there are safer options? Solar, wind and Hydrogen fuel cells are just waiting to be built. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster
4. 1MAY11 Bin Laden killed
The guy that got Bin Laden and Ghadaffi is one tough cookie. The right constantly trying to paint him as a wimp is totally wrong! Obama reminds me of the Jimmy Stewart character in the Man who shot Liberty Valance: Steady, dependable and driven by a plain sense of justice. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/world/asia/osama-bin-laden-is-killed.h...
5. 9MAY11 Arnold and Maria divorce.
Then, a few months later we find out Arnold had secretly fathered a child with his housekeeper and had been hiding this secret the entire time he was governor! I'm sorry, but I wrote a song back in '04 that said, "Gray Davis was a decent man, he was run out of office, it was all a sham." I really thought Arnold's candidacy was kind of bogus. And,... it has just come to light in the last few days that TMZ is reporting Maria is having second thoughts about going through with the divorce?! Oh the level of scandalous drama! Their will never be another Arnold and Maria. http://tinyurl.com/6q3adux
6. 21JUL11 - Three people swept over Vernal Falls in Yosemite.
This story just grabbed and shook me to the core. Jaw-droppingly tragic. My main purpose in life is to stay alive and I must have been lucky over the years considering some of the stupid things I’ve done. But, this is proof that you do indeed need some luck to stay alive in this world and survive till old age. So sad that these kids lost their lives in a tragic accident because they did not heed the warning signs and got into the river to cool off. But, because of the heavy volume of water it just got away from them so quickly. The Falls as all the water features in Yosemite were raging from one of the wettest seasons we’ve had in many years. The overwhelming abundance of water provided a grand harvest of agricultural value but it also made for tragedies as many people drowned this past year in our rivers, lakes and streams.
7. 10JUL11 Bill McEwen column “Ag prospers but Valley’s crop of social ills persists”
and 29SEP11 “3 Supervisors look out for ag only” My favorite writer at the Bee speaks the truth about Ag issues, which is really hard to do in the most prosperous ag area in the entire world. And if your high visibility and effective they will lie in wait for you and try to harm you in some way because that’s what some of them do. So, it takes a lot of courage to stand up to them. 5.9 BILLION dollars of ag production this last year in Fresno County alone and they have the gall to cry poor! With their wacky statements like, “Man-made drought” and our county is a “Dustbowl” they have proved a disregard for the truth in order to gain political traction. Quote from Bill: "The word is out: Farming is one of the most lucrative enterprises in the world". But, you'll never hear anything like that from the Republican spin machine in our area.
(I would have put a link to the story at the Bee, but it’s gone. Lucky thing I still cut out my favorite articles and save those scraps of paper.)
8. 20OCT11 Gaddafi killed It’s been a bad year for Tyrannical Dictators, WHOOHOO!!! Like I said, the guy that got Bin Laden and Gaddafi is one tough cookie. You don’t mess with the mohan. I look forward to a future where more dictators are deposed. The future looks so bright I gotta wear shades.
9. 5NOV11 “Poverty Stalks Lowell Neighborhood” By Kurtis Alexander
I have tried to figure out why conservative propagandists so hate the Census that is taken every ten years. This is why. It reveals where the poorest of the poor live, and if you know exactly where they live you can funnel resources to that area to relieve the suffering. They can’t accept anything or anybody that can relieve suffering caused by poverty except trickle-down economics or charity. They are constantly trying to prove that people are poor because they’re bad. And, they need all those poor people because they are their prey for their flim-flam man, lying advertising, payday loan sharks and other scam businesses that prey on poor people.
10. 24DEC11 Payroll Tax Cut standoff between Obama and Tea Party House members
Dozens of Tea Party congressmen and women were elected in 2010 and swore to go back there and “burn the place down”. Well, they did and this is what we got. The country got to see what inflexible ideologues can do when you give them this kind of power: They put their own selfish interests above the common good of the people. Obama, just like with Bin Laden and
Gaddafi just steadily pursued what he believed to be right and beat those Tea Partiers at their own game. They blinked and there is now, I think a split in the Republican Party. They have managed to make Obama look like someone who wants to cut taxes for the good of the workin' man & woman and the Tea Party as being against that.