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December 31, 2007
The Ten Worst Stories
have had a fairly mixed year. Both good stories and bad were bountiful,
and sometimes good and bad news came together to neutralize
mega-stories. Take Pakistan, where Pervez Musharraf’s lifting of both
his military uniform and his country’s State of Emergency was closely
followed by the untimely assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Nobody quite
knows what the net effect of these events will be.
Other stories, however, can quite clearly be grouped into good and bad
categories. Thus, in this first of a two-part series
recapping the year
2007, I present to you the 10 worst stories of 2007:
10. The University of
Illinois ditches its mascot, Chief Illiniwek:
The devastating part is obviously not the loss of the mascot itself (as
loved and respected as Chief Illiniwek was by his community). It is
instead the fact that we have reached a point in this society where we
bow to a shallow but outspoken minority – polls show that four-fifths of
Native Americans support the use of American Indian names in sports. All
I’m gonna say is, don’t touch my Washington Redskins.
Mississippi River Bridge collapse:
There are very few functions that even small-government conservatives
concede to the government, and those include highways. But due to the
size of Minnesota’s bureaucracy and the state legislature’s decision to
spend its money on everything but roads, government has somehow managed
to mess up one of its most basic and uncomplicated responsibilities.
seizes Royal Navy personnel: How can anyone forget the big smiles on the
faces of those British Navy personnel captured by Iran as they met with
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, received gifts from their captors, and posed for
the Iranian media while dressed in their pretty new suits? And who can
forget that they were later allowed to sell their stories? In short, our
best friends messed up, and the Iranians scored a major propaganda
Somehow, it has become acceptable to rally for a group of teenagers that
knock unconscious a fellow student, as long as they are black and he is
white. Yes, the prosecutor made a mistake with the original excessive
charges, but the unwarranted defense of the criminals by the media
continued for far too long after the mistake was corrected.
6. Al Gore
and his Live Earth:
It is indeed necessary to have the global warming debate. It is an
important issue. But it is a lie to say that there is a scientific
consensus over whether humans are causing global warming. There is not.
More debate would have been a better idea than a Live Earth concert,
which according to one expert, requires 100,000 newly planted trees in
order to counter all the energy it consumed.
regimes still in place: It is not so much that something happened as
something did not happen. We still have too many corrupt and
authoritarian regimes around the globe, with some of the worst being
Venezuela, North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe. This status
quo continues to be one of the worst stories every year.
4. Media panics over
Chinese exports: OK, some Chinese toys were found to contain lead, and
we should be more careful about that – whatever, that’s not the point.
The point is that this story was way, way overblown in an attempt by the
economic Left to convince Americans to ride the protectionist wagon. The
cheap Chinese products you, reader of this column, inevitably use daily,
do give you a better quality of life. And the answer is more free trade,
3. Subprime mortgage
crisis: No one gets credit for a strong economy (except Bill
Clinton), but for some reason, when one single thing goes wrong in an
otherwise solid economy, fingers are always pointed at the incumbent
administration. How about we blame those who took out loans they cannot
afford, and the banks that gave out those risky loans? The primary
victims of this crisis are those who caused it – there is no reason to
get the government (the rest of us) involved in solving it.
Intelligence Estimate on Iran:
It is captivating to watch foreign policy doves adopt this NIE report as
the Word of God when they can’t stop blaming the Bush administration for
believing intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs. But even if
the report is accurate, it by no means says that Iran is not going to
have nuclear weapons. It says that Iran in 2003 stopped its blatant
nuclear weapons program, but it continues uranium enrichment, which is
transferable to nuclear weapons technology.
1. Democrats take the
Congress: Take Nancy Pelosi’s appointment to the Chairmanship of the
House Intelligence Committee of a congressman who could not say whether
Al Qaeda was Sunni or Shiite. Take congressional Democrats’ unnecessary
angering of Turkey. Or their embarrassing attack on Rush Limbaugh. Or
their historically soaring pork-barrel spending. Or their leader’s
declaration of the Iraq War as “lost.” Their incumbency can only be the
worst story of 2007. And considering Congress’s approval ratings, sadly
too many Americans would seem to agree.
© 2007 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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