Saturday 31 December 2016

2016: The worst year ever?

People have been upset at the headlines: terrorist attacks, police shootings, Zika, Brexit, Syria, etc. People have been upset at those lost this year: Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, etc. then Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds one day after the other. If that wasn't enough, the United States goes through the craziest election campaign ever and Donald Trump wins the electoral vote to becomes the next president of the United States. I've read several articles from the major news outlets reporting on people calling 2016 the worst year ever. Is it? Is it really? Everything in perspective.

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. What's going to happen? Nobody knows. We can speculate. We can guess. We can prognosticate based on past performance, but we really have no idea of what will happen. Good? Bad? Nerve-racking, isn't it?

According to the scholars (Wikipedia), George W. Bush may not be the worst president, but he's down the list. During his administration (2001-2009), I make note of the following: (We can dicker about the exact numbers, but what I say is a fair estimate.)
  • 9/11 (supposedly knew about this in advance and did nothing).
  • War in Afghanistan (cost $2 trillion - Washington Post).
  • Muslim registry (NSEERS: 93,000 cases, not one terrorist conviction).
  • War in Iraq (cost $3 trillion - Washington Post). Do I need to bring up how Bush lied about WMDs? He lied!
  • use of torture.
  • email scandal (22 million emails "lost").
  • NSA domestic spying.
  • Katrina failed response.
  • the 2008 Financial Crisis, the worst crisis since the 1929 Stock Market crash.
Is Trump really going to top that?

Let's go out on a humorous note. Yes, it's been tumultuous. Yes, it's been crazy. But ya gotta laugh. After all, it beats sobbing uncontrollably.

2016: The Movie (Trailer) - Friend Dog Studios - Dec 28, 2016


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Slate - July 22/2016
Is 2016 the Worst Year in History? by Rebecca Onion
The question of how to determine a “worst year” in history piqued my interest. So I decided to ask a group of historians to nominate their own “worst years” and to reflect on what constitutes a “really bad year.” Ten brave souls agreed to play this parlor game with me. Here are their picks.

NY Times - Dec 282016
2016: Worst. Year. Ever? by Charles Nevin
The best of times, worst of times thing also depends heavily on which side you’re on: Consider, again, 1776, and 1066, 1815, 1865, 1918, 1945 and, of course, 1492... You know, on the whole, I think we’re probably better off with 2016. At least, there’s not much of it left. What could possibly go wrong?


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