Wednesday, December 30, 2009

People Of The Year - 2009

by Dick Mac

10. Health Care Reformers. Democrats proved, yet again, that they are wholly incapable of representing the majority of Americans, especially those who consider themselves to the left of center. A terribly lame health care reform package is being put forward, with no real public option and no relief from the whimsical avarice of insurance companies.

09. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was catapulted from the appeals court to the national spotlight when she was nominated to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by David Souter. Originally appointed to the federal court by President George H.W. Bush, her subsequent appointments by Presidents Clinton and Obama were met with the boring, dangerous and predictable delay tactics that the American fringe-right, represented wholly and solely by the Republican Party, have come to use as an impediment to progress. Sotomayor, who enjoys a stellar reputation and has made some landmark decisions in her career, was unflappable in her confirmation hearings.

08. Disney's Princess Creators finally created an animated fairy-tale princess who is not white or beige, she is black. Princess Tiana stars in the latest Disney feature "The Princess And The Frog." Oddly, this black woman does not to get to enjoy her promised regal lifestyle as a stroke of bad-timing leaves her and her prince . . . well, I won't spoil the ending for you.

07. Seattle Sounders FC, this year's expansion team in Major League Soccer, won the U.S. Open Cup in their inaugural year. Quite a feat. Comprised of an impressive line-up that includes Casey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg, as well as Freddy Montero and coach Sigi Schmid, the team also made an impressive run through the playoffs. The team is owned by a group headed by Hollywood producer Joe Roth, Microsoft's Paul Allen, and television personality Drew Carey. The team sold all 22,000 season tickets, making them the league leader in season ticket holders.

06. Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped on June 10, 1991. She was eleven years old. On August 26, 2009, she re-appeared after a series of events that led her to a parole officer who was supposed to be monitoring her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido. Jaycee had been held by Garrido and his wife, Nancy, for 18 years in an outdoor compound of tents and sheds behind their home in Antioch, California. During her captivity, she gave birth to two children, one of whom was born when Jaycee was fourteen years old. Held for 18 years, Jaycee became part of her kidnappers' lives and considered herself to be part of their family. Little is known about her today, but a publisher has been lined-up for a book.

05. Stock Market Investors who entered the market after March 9, 2009, have made a lot of money. Many are simply making back the money they lost in 2008; but, some who entered the market for the first time this year have seen their investments grow. Financial stocks have grown between 25% and 400%; some conglomerates have doubled in value since hitting their low; and a $10,000 investment in Ford Motor Company on March 10, 2009, is worth over $55,000 today (a mere nine months later).

04. Lady Gaga is sometimes referred to as the heir to David Bowie's legacy. Well, David Bowie isn't dead yet, so that might be premature. Although some of her music is reminiscent of modern-day pre-packaged pop stars, using some heavy techno beats, Lady Gaga's songs and performances are of a caliber that reminds me of David Bowie's much-storied career. She is smart and sexy, her use of costumes, props, and dancers is sophisticated, and she gives a great interview.

03. The Murderers of New York City have had less action this year than last. Only 462 murders were committed in the City last year, an 11% decrease from 2008.

02. The People of Maine showed themselves as homophobic bigots when they voted to deny homosexuals the right to marry. I encourage everyone to boycott Maine and everything from Maine. Buy potatoes from Idaho and apples from New York. Buy lobster from Massachusetts and do not plan a vacation to Vacationland.

01. The Opposition in Iran is up against it. The theocratic regime controlling Iran has no intention of letting loose their stranglehold on the country and opposition protesters are regularly arrested, beat-up, or killed. Democracy is dead, and the ideologue who stole the last election is working diligently to make Iran a nuclear power. The United States, however, has wasted vast resources attacking Iraq and Afghanistan, to no fruitful end, and allowed fascist states throughout the Middle East to prosper. It is important that we support, in any way possible, the opposition in Iran.

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