I guess 2015 wasn’t … too bad. We didn’t have an election, so that’s always a plus. Um … the Star Wars movie was pretty decent. Uh … help me out here.
OK, yeah, 2015 kind of sucked. And 2016 is looking worse, what with the parties gearing up for an election between a Democrat with massive ties to big business who supported or masterminded three of the biggest foreign policy disasters of the last decade and a “Republican” who supports, well, God knows what.
I’ll be here to cover it. And hopefully you’ll be hear to read. I always appreciate the clicks, views, references and comments. As we ramp up to actual voting, it’s going to get exciting in the same way that cliff gets exciting as your car goes over it.
In the meantime, have a safe and Happy New Year’s. And hopefully, you’re celeberating with a little assist from Jim, as I am:
In the meantime, here are some end-of-year review articles, with my commentary.
Charles Kenny reminds us that, despite the headlines, 2015 was the best year in human history. War has picked up a bit in the last few years, but hunger, disease, poverty and violence are still all at historic lows and declining even more. The human race has never healthier, wealthier or more at peace than it is right now. That’s not guaranteed to last. The Four Horsemen never really rest. Keeping them hobbled is a constant struggle and the ground is very slippery right now. But we’ve come a long way.
A fellow UVA alum reviews the Year in Space.
Politifact, always eager to stoke pageviews, declared Donald Trump’s campaign to be the Lie of the Year. I find this ridiculous. Not because Trump hasn’t earned it but because Trump isn’t really a liar. As Franklin Harris notes, Trump is a bullshitter. A liar cares about the truth because they want to bury it. Nixon was a liar. Bill Clinton was a lair. Hillary Clinton is a massive, flagrant liar. Trump just says whatever pops into his head or whatever he thinks will get attention. If it happens to be true, that’s nice. But ultimately, he just doesn’t care.
Slate has a calendar of good things that happened this year. Some of these I don’t see as good things and some I don’t care about. But there’s some good stuff there.
The highlight of every array of year’s end articles is Dave Barry’s Year in Review:
On the political front, the big story is Donald Trump, who declares his candidacy for president and lays out a bold, far-reaching vision for America consisting of whatever thought is flitting through his mind at that particular moment. Trump is deemed to have no chance by veteran Washington-based political experts with vast knowledge of what all the other veteran Washington-based political experts think. Also declaring his candidacy, and predicted by the experts to do far better, is Jeb Bush, whose official campaign slogan is: “Jeb! — The Exclamation Mark Denotes Enthusiasm.”
But the big international news comes from Vienna, where Iran signs a deal with the United States and five other nations under which Iran, in exchange for a lot of money, promises to stop trying to build a nuclear bomb. President Obama says the deal “makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure.” For his part, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says, quote, “Death to America,” but he says it in what U.S. negotiators describe as “a softer tone.”
Possibly the most hilarious article is from, where else, Vox, in which they lament that 2015 was the year of people get outraged about trivial bullshit like Starbucks’s cups or Men’s Rights. What makes it hilarious is that Vox is the King of fauxrage. They have expressed and driven outrage on … everything: sexism, racism, college campuses, everything Donald Trump says, anti-PP rhetoric, the NRA, microaggressions — all with condescending explainers for why this particular outrage is so outrageous. For them to write this article focusing on a handful of stupid thins is … well … outrageous.