Monday, May 29, 2017

History: The Year is 2013

I've uploaded year 2013 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=2013

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.


* Please Don't Shoot the Surfer Dude, Delivery Gal, Old Lady... Whatever! -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Edward Snowden proves tinfoil hats are reasonable -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* Boston Blows it Big Time -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.




===============================

Please Don't Shoot the Surfer Dude, Delivery Gal, Old Lady... Whatever!

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
LAPD Officer Chris Dorner has been fired after a hearing determines that he lied in a report against his training officer. Dorner is a black man with a big chip on his shoulder, so the LAPD is worried about what he might do next. He goes on a shooting spree. In Orange County, he murders the daughter of his lawyer. He sends a threatening manifesto to CNN's Anderson Cooper. In Corona, he shoots at two policemen and ambushes a patrol car in Riverside. Anyone familiar with Southern California roads knows that San Bernadino is next, but 25 minutes later he is reported in San Diego trying to steal a boat! (FYI, he would have to go 240 MPH non-stop to get there in that time frame.) Finally, Dorner's grey Nissan Titan is found burning on a remote trail near the vacation resort of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernadino mountains. Officers begin a house-by-house search. In the meantime, the LAPD has assigned protection teams to key officials. In the wee hours of the morning, a lone pickup truck comes creeping along the curb of the street. It stops briefly at each house as if looking for an address. The protection team has spotted the truck. It is obviously Dorner the mad assassin! SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! Without warning, 102 bullets riddle the blue Toyota Tacoma. Emma Hernandez, 71, and her daughter, Margie Carranza, 47, are wounded, but they survive the onslaught. They deliver the newspaper every morning. A few minutes later the Torrence Police (same city) spot "Dorner" in a black Honda pickup. "Dorner" is a white male this time. The police cruiser rams the truck and officers fire a fusillade of bullets completely missing David Perdue on his way to do some early morning surfing. Dorner is everywhere. He's nowhere, and no one is safe... FROM THE POLICE! [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Looking back, it is easy to criticize. Dorner did try to steal a boat, but that was the day before. Reports came in fast, and out of order. He might have been anywhere. In the gray hours of the morning, mistakes happen which is why you make sure you are not shooting an old lady or a white man when you are looking for a very large black man with a rifle. BTW, if you look at a picture of the Tacoma, it is a miracle those ladies lived. No police officer was charged criminally. Dorner himself (the real Dorner) refused to give up. He car-jacked a white Dodge truck. (Everyone duck!) Fish and Game officers identified him correctly. (Hire them!) He shot at two San Bernadino sheriffs, killing one, as he barricaded himself in a cabin. Sheriffs fired tear gas into the cabin which started a fire. (I say intentionally, but they say not.) A single shot was heard. Dorner blew his brains out. Bye-bye.

Edward Snowden proves tinfoil hats are reasonable

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
In May, a NSA contractor takes leave and travels to Hong Kong allegedly to get treatment for his epilepsy. He meets with several members of The Guardian while there. On June 5, the first of many reports on the classified materials he has given them is published, revealing that over 120 million Verizon customers have had their phone records collected by the NSA. From this point on, the reports come one after another, showing just how far down the rabbit hole the NSA is. Among this information is evidence the NSA has been spying on Brazilian emails, and our European allies among other foreign nations.
My Take by Southpaw Ben
Many people in the liberty movement saw this as the proof they needed to get the American people to see how bad the government has gotten. While I completely agree that the NSA should not have been spying on US, many of the same people shouting the loudest over this were also complaining about the NSA spying on our allies. This is where I disagree with them. The NSA's job is to spy on potential threats to the US, which can include our allies. While I don't think the US should be meddling in other countries elections, collecting intelligence from them about what's going on behind closed doors should be expected.

Boston Blows it Big Time

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
"When the smoke started to clear, I could see lots of bodies. [...] I could see a lot of mangled limbs, a lot of blood and shattered glass."
-- Dave Abel, Boston Globe Reporter, 10 feet from the blast, apparently shielded by those closer to the explosion.
The Boston Marathon always falls on the 3rd Monday in April, Patriot's Day, commemorating the battles at Lexington and Concord which were the opening shots in the American Revolution. This year it falls on April 15th, Tax Day. But as the runners cross the finish line there is an explosion. Thirteen seconds later there is another. 3 people are killed including an 8-year-old boy. 16 others have limbs blown off. The carnage is horrific. The selfless bravery in the midst of that chaos is heartening as volunteers carry away the injured. The bombs were designed to kill spectators with a pressure cooker filled with nails, and a low explosive hidden inside a backpack. Local security cameras are scanned for clues. They spot two men casually walking away. They stand out. Their names are Tamerlan Tsarnaev (26) and his brother Dzhokhar (20) rhymes with "joker". They are legal refugees from Chechnya and yes, they are Muslims. A gas station attendant spots them and calls 911. Police show up and a shootout ensues. More than 200 rounds are fired, crude grenades are thrown. After Tamerlan runs out of ammo the police tackle him. His younger brother tries to run down the policemen. Instead he drags his older brother under the car. The young man escapes on foot. His brother dies an hour later. This will take some time. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
They eventually found him in a parked boat under a tarp, but what really galled me was how docile the Boston public was in the face of government intrusion. The governor ordered a lock-down of the area. Police were armed to the teeth like it was Beirut. I'm as anxious as the next guy to help the police find a killer, but that is MY choice. The police ask for my cooperation. They don't tell me what to do unless they have probable cause and a warrant. If they are in hot pursuit then I'm flexible, but there was no hot pursuit. They didn't know where he was. When they found the guy in a boat they shot him several times. The Police Chief said that he was firing at police, but the guy was unarmed. They took him to the hospital. As of this writing he is sitting on death row, but initially, some people felt sorry for him probably because he had that little lost puppy look. Spare me! A lot of this was a dry run to see if the government could control the public... to see how citizens would react if their government imposed military rule over them at least temporarily. From the government perspective the public reacted well. I was appalled. [9] [10]

Notable Births

None that I can find so far.--alexshrugged

Notable Deaths

  • James M. Buchanan (age 93, natural causes): Cato Institute Fellow and economist in the same school as Hayek. [11] [12]
  • Hugo Ch├ívez (age 58, respiratory infection): (Socialist) President of Venezuela. His last words are: "Yo no quiero morir, por favor no me dejen morir" (I don't want to die. Please don't let me die). (He was a modern example of what socialism can do to a country.... good and hard.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • Margaret Thatcher (age 87, stroke): Prime Minister of the UK. (I disagreed with her position on healthcare, but she was a great lady. I miss her.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • Tom Clancy (age 66, undisclosed, likely heart-related): Author of "The Hunt for Red October" and video games like "Rainbow Six", "Ghost Recon" and many others. (My favorite author of thrillers. He came up with the idea of using passenger jets as flying bombs. See Debt of Honor.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • Cory Monteith (age 31, heroin overdose): Finn in TV's Glee. He had entered rehab a few months earlier after the cast arranged an intervention. (A resumption of drug and alcohol use after a short period of abstinence IN ADDICTS AND HEAVY DRINKERS can cause death.--alexshrugged )

This Year in Film

  • Frozen: Animated musical. Traditional story. (I didn't hate it.--alexshrugged) [13]
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: (They are dragging the story out and thus ruining it.--alexshrugged) [13]
  • And...: Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and Lone Survivor (As I recall, Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell told the producers, "If you dishonor my friends I will kill you all," or words to that effect.--alexshrugged). [13]

This Year in TV

  • Al Jazeera buys Current TV from Al Gore: Gore refuses the offer from Glenn Beck and sells out to big oil. (He always was a big Occidental Coal and Oil guy despite what he says.--alexshrugged) [14] [15]
  • Time Warner Cable refuses ads for firearms: This is in response to the Sandyhook murders and President Obama's push against so-called assault weapons. [14]
  • 60 Minutes is caught lying about Benghazi: Actually their source lied, but CBS was publishing the liar's new book... a fact that CBS neglected to mention in the report. [14] [16]
  • Red Eye's Greg Gutfeld calls comedian Jim Carrey "the most pathetic tool on the face of the earth": Carrey's anti-gun video, "Cold Dead Hands" seems hypocritical since he plays superhero Colonel Stars and Stripes in Kick Ass 2 while using a gun. (Click here to see trailer, but only if you are over 40, or maybe 50.) [14] [17]

This Year in Music

  • Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke featuring T.I and Pharrell. "I know you want it, but you're a good girl" (I cannot in good conscience provide a link to this music.--alexshrugged) [18]
  • Thrift Shop: Macklemore with Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. "I'm gonna pop some tags / Only got twenty dollars in my pocket / I - I - I'm hunting, looking for a come-up / This is f---ing awesome" (The music video has the virtue of being self-deprecating. What other virtues it has are lost on me.--alexshrugged) [18] [19]
  • Locked Out of Heaven: Bruno Mars. "'Cause you make me feel like I've been locked out of heaven." (The music and vocals are good. The lyrics are are not obscene, but too direct, so no link.--alexshrugged) [18]
  • Cruise: Florida Georgia Line. "Baby, you make me want to roll my window down and cruise." [18]

This Year in Video Games

  • Grand Theft Auto 5: The game grosses $800 million the 1st day. It is criticized for torture and violence against women. Target pulls the game from the shelves. (It makes no difference.--alexshrugged) [20]
  • The Last of Us: Survival-horror. Your mission is to get a teenage girl across a post-apocalyptic US while fighting off cannibals and whatever else comes your way. [20]
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS handheld: 17th in the series. Link must restore peace to the kingdom after the sorcerer Yuga kidnaps Princess Zelda. (Blah, blah, blah. It is incredibly popular.--alexshrugged) [20]

In Other News

Event More Info Comments
George Zimmerman is acquitted of all charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Despite media attempts to paint Zimmerman as a Neo-Nazi, he acted in self defense. Florida's 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law says that he had no duty to retreat. [21] [22] [23] (I've heard an extensive interview of Zimmerman, and I am convinced he acted correctly, if a little too enthusiastically at first.--alexshrugged)
The Chelyabinsk meteor explodes over Russia, injuring almost 1.5 million people and damaging over 4,300 buildings It is the most powerful meteor to strike Earth's atmosphere since the Tunguska Blast. [24] [25][26] [22][27] (You have to see the video. It is unbelieveable.--alexshrugged)
The Journal of Pediatrics confirms that there is no scientific link between vaccines and autism [28] [22] The other top concern of parents is administering too many vacines in one day. (Well... I'm glad that is all settled now.--alexshrugged)
The first 3-D gun is printed in Austin, Texas. As with the Glock, the government is worried that plastic weapons might evade airport screening. [29][30] [22] (They already can.--alexshrugged)
And a bunch of stuff that seems more important that the above. (Only time will tell.--alexshrugged)

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2013, Wikipedia.

Friday, May 26, 2017

History: The Year is 2012

I've uploaded year 2012 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=2012

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.


* It's the Girls Gone Wild: Secret Service Edition! -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* A YouTube video kills the ambassador? -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* Here Comes Superstorm Sandy -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.




===============================

It's the Girls Gone Wild: Secret Service Edition!

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
As with any Presidential visit, a team of Secret Service agents are sent ahead to set up security. Back in the "good old days" this also meant "Wheels up! Rings off!" President Barack Obama will be arriving in Cartagena, Columbia for the 6th Summit of the Americas to discuss the War on Drugs. The Secret Service arrived ten days earlier, and it's party time! After a particularly hard night of drinking and cavorting, a complaint comes in from a woman of negotiable virtue. She hasn't been paid, and she is hopping mad. (FYI, if you are going to do something immoral or illegal, make sure everyone gets paid what they were promised and a little more. This includes drug dealers, prostitutes and assassins. They can do a lot more harm to you than you can do to them. OK. Moving on.) The fly in the ointment is that the new Secret Service supervisor, Paula Reid, is a woman of integrity. This ain't your daddy's Secret Service any more. If you mess up, she is going to mess with you. Believe it. She sends them all home, and makes a full report. But some secrets are just too good not to share, so as President Obama arrives for the Summit, the news breaks. After the recent gate crashing incident by those reality TV knuckleheads (The Housewives of Washington D.C.), it raises doubts as to the competency of the new Secret Service. But don't worry. At least no one is jumping the fence, and wandering around the White House unchallenged... yet. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I wasn't always "good", at least when I was single, but I have always been faithful to my wife. (No BS.) Road trips were no different. In fact, I was like an albatross around the necks of my co-workers when we were sent out. I wasn't judging. I wasn't watching, but my personal presence was clearly discouraging any acting out. In Las Vegas, as we got in a cab, the cab driver said, "Hi Guys! Oh! Hey!" On the floor of the cab was an ad for the Bunny Ranch. He said, "I can't have an ad just laying on the floor!" He slipped it in its clear plastic holder. We all laughed, and thus began a jocular discussion with the cab driver about the Bunny Ranch which would have been a very long cab ride. What a coincidence! As we left the cab I mentioned that the cab driver was attempting to cajole us into taking a trip to the Bunny Ranch. They were surprised, but then they realized that it was true. Such opportunities do not arise by chance. Use your head. Be aware. Nigerian princesses don't just fall into your lap, and if they do, they aren't worth it. This is the voice of sad experience talking, gentlemen. They are not worth it.

A YouTube video kills the ambassador?

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
At 9:40 on September 11th, members of the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia attacked the US diplomatic compound in Libya. Later, the group attacked a CIA annex that was a mile away with mortars, resulting in a dozen CIA contractors being killed or injured. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took responsibility for the lapse in security that resulted in a lack of additional security being provided to the embassy. Initially blamed on a YouTube video that was considered blasphemous, as it portrayed Islam's founder in a bad light, later evidence supports the assertion that the attack was premeditated, and the release of the trailer was just a coincidence that made a good scape goat.
[8][9]
My Take by Southpaw Ben
One of the problems with breaking news is that rarely does it get anything more substantial than the location right. For example, this year when news of the Ohio State stabbing/vehicular attack first broke, it said it was an active shooting with multiple casualities. In actuality, the only shooting was the police shooting the attacker, who was also the only fatality. Also, if the message doesn't fit the agenda of the news company, it will likely be twisted, and blatant issues with what they're reporting will be ignored. When I first heard about the Bengazhi attack, I thought it was a way for the terrorists to commemorate their "9/11 success", as the attack occurred on September 11, but I don't remember ever hearing that idea even tossed out. Because apparently CIA press releases are always accurate, especially when it doesn't make any logical sense if you think about it for more than 5 seconds.

Here Comes Superstorm Sandy

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
It's not a very strong storm as such things are measured. It's called "Superstorm" Sandy because it is no longer a hurricane. Its winds have been dying down which why it comes as such a surprise when it causes so much damage and loss of life at the end of its run. Sandy began as a tropical storm that developed into a Category 3 hurricane. It hit the Bahamas hard, and then headed north along the Atlantic. It seemed like New York and New Jersey had dodged a bullet when the storm suddenly hooks and comes right at them. Even though Sandy is weakened, it covers a very large area. Sustained winds, even if lower than hurricane force, can be devastating if maintained long enough. The tide is coming in, making the storm surge even greater. The waters surround a neighborhood just as a fire breaks out. They are lost. Firefighters can't get to the blaze. A crane collapses. New Jersey's boardwalks and amusement rides slip into the sea. When it is all over, 117 are dead in the New York/New Jersey area. 40 deaths were from mandatory evacuation area A. They received their notices, but some people insist that it couldn't happen to them. Homes are lost. Power is out, yet here and there some people are prepared. Quietly, extension cords are shared between friends. It's good to have friends. Governor Christie reaches out to President Obama for help. It's their job, but the image is burned into the minds of the public as Christie walks along the beach with Obama. One can almost imagine them holding hands. With only days until the election and Sandy's aftermath dominating the news, Mitt Romney can't get a word in edgewise. President Obama coasts to reelection. Sandy's damage is costly indeed. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... Romney might have lost anyway. No sense in whining about it now. And speaking of whining, I was on a discussion forum right after Sandy had passed, and I was amazed that New Yorkers were angry over resistance in Congress for a relief package to help New York. I asked why New York should get any special relief. After all, weren't New Yorkers aware that hurricanes happen in their neck of the woods? Why weren't they prepared? They replied that Sandy came as a complete surprise. But surprise to whom? I'm living in Texas. I was tracking the storm out of keen interest since Texas had been hit by Hurricane Rita... a REAL hurricane. It destroyed Houston and Galveston a few years back. They jumped on that. Texas had received aid, but it was the normal FEMA aid. We didn't ask for MORE aid because Texans realize that hurricanes happen. We were prepared to handle the extra cost that such events INEVITABLY require. They couldn't see the light. It must have been very dark where their heads were. (Sand. I mean their heads were in the sand!)

Notable Births

None that I can find other than princes and princesses.--alexshrugged

Notable Deaths

  • Neil Armstrong (age 82, complications after bypass surgery): First man on the Moon. His family asked that when you see the Moon "think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink." #WinkAtTheMoon [12] [13]
  • Sally Ride (age 61, Pancreatic cancer): First US woman in space and a very private woman in her personal life. [12]
  • Rodney King (age 47, accidental drowning after alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and PCP use): His public beating by police and subsequent exoneration of the police sparked a riot. [12]
  • Whitney Houston (age 48, accidental drowning after cocaine and marijuana use): Actress and singer. (She seemed bent on destroying herself.--alexshrugged) [12]

This Year in Film

  • The Avengers: Superheroes must stop the Norse god Loki. [14]
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Batman save Gotham City from nuclear destruction. (I didn't see it so I don't know if he made it.--alexshrugged) [14]
  • And...: The Hunger Games, Wreck It Ralph, and Brave. [14]

This Year in TV

  • Anger Management: Charlie Sheen is on the FX channel. [15]
  • HBO's Girls: Starring Lena Dunham and situations based on her life. [15]
  • Lilyhammer: The first Netflix original content. A gangster makes a new life for himself in a small town in Norway. [15]
  • "Patently offensive language" is allowed on TV: Without a clear definition of what "patently offensive" means, free speech is infringed. [15]

This Year in Music

  • Set Fire To The Rain: Adele. (Excellent vocals, but the music video has some sort of bisexual story going on. I'm just not interested.--alexshrugged) [16]
  • The One That Got Away: Katy Perry. "In another life / I would make you stay / So I don't have to say / You were the one that got away" (I liked it.--alexshrugged) [16]
  • True Believers: Darius Rucker. "We are one heartbeat in the darkness" (Beautiful.--alexshrugged) [16]

This Year in Video Games

  • Street Fighter and Megaman are 25 years old: (How old am I again?--alexshrugged) [17]
  • The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 3: The critics love it. (The critics hate anything that comes from a movie or TV, so this is really something.--alexshrugged). [17]
  • Mass Effect 3 for the Xbox 360: Third of the trilogy. [17]
  • Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii: Fantasy/Sci-fi role playing game. (It seems to have a mystical story line.--alexshrugged) [17]

In Other News

Event More Info Comments
12 are dead and 58 injured after a mass murderer enters a Denver movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises James Holmes was masked and claimed to be "The Joker". (My granddaughter, Alyse Shrugged, was working in the same shopping center.--alexshrugged). [18] [2]
20 children are murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School 8 adults are also murdered by Adam Lanza. In the aftermath, the discussion is about gun control and video games. (Yeah. Mario's evil brother, Wario made Adam do it.--alexshrugged) [19] [2] [20]
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hospitalized after falling at home Doctors discover a blood clot. (There is a rumor that she actually sustained her injuries in a plane crash, but she seems to be holding together.--alexshrugged) [21][22] [23] [2]
Obamacare as ruled constitutional under the "taxing and spending" clause Chief Justice Roberts ruled that forcing people to buy heath insurance was a proper use of the taxing powers of Congress.[24] (What a load of crap. This why NO ONE should depend on the Supreme Court to fix what Congress has done.--alexshrugged)
Marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington state. [25] [2] It is still illegal federally, but the feds are looking the other way. (My only objection is that current rehab resources are not adequate to handle the inevitable X number of people who will get trapped, but the same is true for alcohol in that sense. We will adjust.--alexshrugged)
Gay marriage is legalized in Maine, Maryland and Washington state. This has been a growing trend.[26][27][28] [2] (The state needs to get out of the marriage business.--alexshrugged)
Dallas declares a state of emergency after an outbreak of the West Nile virus 17 are dead in Dallas. Across the US, 243 are dead out of 5,387 cases this year. Aerial spraying of insecticide over Dallas begins. [29] [30] [31] [2] (Don't breathe in.--alexshrugged)
A solar coronal mass ejection barely misses Earth (Just a few more days and we would have plowed right into it.--alexshrugged) [32] [33]
Google self-driving cars are licensed for testing in Nevada It requires a licensed driver. [34] [2] (I am handicapped, so it won't help me if I need a license.--alexshrugged)

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2012, Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

History: The Year is 2011

I've uploaded year 2011 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=2011

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.


* A New Beginning, a Worse Ending, the Arab Spring -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Artificial windpipe becomes first synthetic organ successfully transplanted -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* Congresswomen at the Safeway, and a Target -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.




==========================

A New Beginning, a Worse Ending, the Arab Spring

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
"I have come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning..." [1]
-- President Barack Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4th, 2009.
It is December 17th, 2010 (last year). A low-level Tunisian official confiscates a poor man's food cart for selling without a license. Later that day, the man walks to the provincial capital, pours gasoline on himself, and lights a match. No one knows it yet, but Mohamed Bouazizi has just set the Middle East on fire. By January 11th, President Ben Ali is leaving Tunisia. Thus begins the Arab Spring, and spring is coming in like a lion. A few days later Egypt is in chaos. It is an Internet revolution initiated by a young Egyptian working for Google. He has taken to heart President Obama's appeal to "have a say in how you are governed." CBS corespondent Lara Logan is covering the protest in Tarik Square. Suddenly, she is sexually assaulted with men groping her from all sides. She shouts, "STOP!" Her cameraman cannot hold them back. She is beaten senseless. It is a terrible story, but it doesn't fit the narrative of freedom for Egypt, so the media is strangely subdued. As President Mubarak is removed from office what fills the vacuum is not democracy. It's something dark and unyielding. Then comes Libya. Muammar Gaddafi is murdered in the street, and Hillary Clinton laughs for the CBS News audience. Then Yemen erupts. Bahrain crushes a rebellion. Kuwait, Lebanon, and Jordan appease the protests with reforms. Syria breaks into a civil war. Thousands are dead. It all began with a man who woouldnt put up with one more insult to his humanity, and it hasn't ended yet. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A democratic republic requires a baseline understanding of what is right and wrong.... a self-policing. Otherwise, you need a heck of a lot more police. President Obama saw too many policemen/soldiers in the Middle East, but didn't understand their purpose. In countries where democracies mostly work, the people know that shooting someone because they didn't vote the right way is bad, partly because the Bible says so, but also because they know that the reprisals that follow would be worse, so they wait for the next election, and hope for the best. Most people in the Middle East do not have that baseline understanding. Until they do, telling them to shake off their chains of oppression will only kill a lot of people until a new dictator rises up. Meet the new boss: usually worse than the old boss.

[edit]Artificial windpipe becomes first synthetic organ successfully transplanted

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
Using stem cells from the patient, doctors were able to coat a glass model of the patient's windpipe which reinforced the model and essentially grew a new trachea and the two main bronchi. The windpipe is indistinguishable from a normal, healthy windpipe. This technique is a huge step forward in transplants because it removes the possibility of the body rejecting the transplant, as it is made up of the patient's own cells, as well as eliminating the need for a donor being needed.[7]
My Take by Southpaw Ben
With all of the issues with modern science, one tends to be suspicious of any of it's "breakthroughs". However, we must be careful that this doesn't become a case of the boy who cried wolf, and lose all the good it can do with the bad. This appears to be one of the completely legitimate break throughs that can save many lives, especially those of newborns that have a defect in their wind pipes, as donors for these are rare, as most parents who have lost their infant don't want to have them "used for parts". It is also is a step towards being able to create other organs artificially, without going into the questionable ethical grounds of using chimeras, which are when one uses a GM pig to grow human organs for transplant.

[edit]Congresswomen at the Safeway, and a Target

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
With the USA throwing Tomahawk missiles at Libya and Egyptians raping CBS reporters, it is easy to forget the simple shooting of a Congresswoman. Isn't it? NO IT ISN'T! Early in January, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) is attending one of those normal meet-and-greet-your-government events held at the local supermarket. As she is standing there shaking hands, a bald-headed man pulls out a pistol and shoots the Congresswoman right in the head. He then proceeds to shoot people at random: a federal judge, a little girl who had been born on 9-11, a retired construction worker and so forth. He empties his Glock 19, but then he bobbles the magazine switch. The loaded magazine hits the pavement. Patricia Maisch grabs it. Someone else takes a folding chair, and applies it briskly to the back of the assassin's head. 74-year-old Colonel Bill Badger (retired) has been shot, but he makes a flying tackle, and brings the assassin to the ground. It's a pile on. Meanwhile, Congressional intern Daniel Hern├índez Jr. applies pressure to Giffords' head wound. He saves her life, but 6 are dead. 13 are injured by gunfire. [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, a concealed weapons permit holder showed up shortly thereafter, but the shooting had stopped. He did not draw his weapon. Frankly, it was over in seconds. There was nothing to be done to prevent the assassin from obtaining a weapon. He purchased the Glock with the normal FBI background check. He tried to buy additional ammo at Walmart that morning, but the clerk refused to sell it too him. Apparently, he didn't look right. The perpetrator was Jared Loughner, who believed that the government was manipulating the public through neuro-linguistic programming. (Don't ask. It's BS anyway.) He's a nut, but he is competent to stand trial. He pleads guilty to everything, so he avoids the death penalty. (It sucks, but biblically speaking, that is correct. One cannot incriminate oneself in a capital case. If he does, you can't kill him. Crap!) He gets life plus 140 years without parole.

[edit]Notable Births

None that I can find other than princes and princesses.--alexshrugged

[edit]Notable Deaths

  • Osama bin Laden (age 54, death by US Navy SEAL): Founder of al-Qaeda, the terrorists responsible for 9-11. (There is no body, but I trust that he is dead.--alexshrugged) [10]
  • Muammar Gaddafi (age 68, bullet wounds in the Libyan Civil War): Leader of Libya. Hillary Clinton's reaction is, "We came, we saw, he died." Then she laughs. (It makes me wonder what "WE" had to do with it.--alexshrugged) [10][11]
  • Steve Jobs (age 56, pancreatic cancer): CEO of Apple and Pixar. His last words are "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." [10]
  • Dennis Ritchie (age 70, natural causes): The creator of the C programming language. (As a computer programmer I owe this man recognition at his passing and so much more.--alexshrugged) [10]
  • Amy Winehouse (age 27, accidental alcohol poisoning, 0.416%): Singer/songwriter. (Damn it, Amy!--alexshrugged) [10]

[edit]This Year in Film

OK. That does it. We have officially drop-kicked reality into the beyond.--alexshrugged
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: The final episode of the series. [12]
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Hasbro science fiction. [12]
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: . [12]
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1: . [12]
  • Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol: . [12]
  • And...: The Adjustment Bureau, Source Code, and Atlas Shrugged: Part 1. [12]

[edit]This Year in TV

Some TV occurs this year but mostly it is lawsuits, carriage disputes, streaming, screaming and the like.--alexshrugged
  • Charlotte Ross's bare backside is now legal on TV: The FCC fine against ABC's NYPD Blue is revoked unanimously by the US Court of appeals. (And it wasn't even a wardrobe malfunction.--alexshrugged) [13] [14] [15]
  • Charlie Sheen is fired from Two and a Half Men: (Charlie is on quite a rant.--alexshrugged) [13]
  • TV ownership is decreasing according to Nielsen Media Research: (I suspect streaming video on portable devices is replacing it, but regular TV watching seems to be on a downward trend.--alexshrugged ) [13][16]
  • The Apprentice host Donald Trump announces that he will NOT run for President in 2012: Nevertheless, he changes his political affiliation from Republican to Independent to preserve his options for a third-party run. [13] [17]

[edit]This Year in Music

  • Rolling in the Deep: Adele. "We could have had it all / Rolling in the deep." (Great song. Great voice.--alexshrugged) [18]
  • E.T.: Katy Perry with Kanye West. "Kiss me, kiss me / Infect me with your love and / Fill me with your poison." (Good sound. Hate the lyrics.--alexshrugged) [18]
  • Made In America: Toby Keith. "He won't buy nothin' that he can't fix / With WD40 and a Craftsman wrench / He ain't prejudiced / he's just made in America" [18]
  • Honey Bee: Blake Shelton. (Boy meets girl at a road-side honey stand. Yep. He buys every last jar.--alexshrugged) [18]

[edit]This Year in Video Games

  • A 9.1 quake and tsunami knocks out the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and most video game development in Japan: Many video game projects are canceled or significantly delayed. [19]
  • Video games are now free speech: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia writes, "Our cases have been clear that the obscenity exception to the First Amendment does not cover whatever a legislature finds shocking, but only depictions of 'sexual conduct'." [19][20] [21]
  • Batman: Arkham City: Named one of the best video games ever. (But I thought that OTHER game was "the best ever". How many "evers" are there?--alexshrugged) [19]
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii: The game makes effective use of the Wii's motion detection system during sword play. [19]

[edit]In Other News

DateEvent
March 11A 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami hits Japan, killing 15,840 with another 3,926 missing, presumed dead. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is swamped. 50 power station employees remain at their posts attempting to stabilize the plant. More are coming... hundreds more. [22][23]
March 19The USA joins the multinational intervention in Libya. (When you hurl Tomahawk missiles at $1.3 million a pop, that is called a war, Mr. Obama.--alexshrugged) [24]
May 1Osama bin Laden has been killed in an American military operation in Pakistan.
June 16Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-New York) resigns after exposing his manhood on Twitter. (A few days earlier, Andrew Breitbart took over a Weiner press conference to excoriate him. Brilliant. Just brilliant. I miss Andrew.--alexshrugged) [25] [23] [26]
August 5The US credit rating is cut to AA+. (There are fears that the USA might be overextended. Imagine that.--alexshrugged)
September 5Bastrop County wildfires rage across Texas. 1500 homes are burned to the ground. (They got the worst of it. I live in Williamson County, and it was frightening enough.--alexshrugged) [27][28] [23]
September 17Occupy Wall Street holds its first protests in New York City. (They are leftists. No question.--alexshrugged)
November 16The US national debt surpasses $15 trillion.
November 7Jerry Sandusky, former assistant coach for Penn State football, is arrested for molesting 15 boys. He will get 60 years. (Too late.--alexshrugged) [23]
December 15The US declares an official end to the War in Iraq. (Officially, US troops are gone, but 20,000 remain for embassy protection.--alexshrugged)
December 17North Korea declares that the Supreme (communist) Leader Kim Jong-Il is dead. (Here comes Kim Jon-un.--alexshrugged)
December 26Barack Obama plays his 90th game of presidential golf. He is on a 17-day vacation in Hawaii. (I wish he would go on a vacation for the rest of his presidency.--alexshrugged)

[edit]This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2011, Wikipedia.